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Freezing temperatures?

 
Charles Tarnard
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Location: PDX Zone 8b 1/6th acre
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My biggest concern about getting a gray water system going for my plants is having the water freeze up in the pipes outside causing it to back up into the house. Is there a standard methodology for mitigating this?
 
Zach Muller
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Location: NE Oklahoma zone 7a
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In this thread There is some good info on that.
 
Laura Allen
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There are several options for using greywater in freezing climates. We have a post on it here (on Greywater Action's site). Basically you want to keep the pipes free of water so it doesn't freeze! Some people divert into the septic/sewer in the winters, others use it all year long. The techniques you use will vary depending on the type of system you have. The post above discusses considerations for different systems.
 
chad Christopher
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Location: Pittsburgh PA
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Figure out how much water you consume. Over size the drain to the catchment, only allow a trickle to fill the grey bed, from your indoor storage and settlement catch. The better question is, how do I stop my filter from freezing? Moving water doesn't freeze. Gravity filters do. Indoor systems lend themselves to be stacked with hot water reclamation, and thermal mass storage. If all else fails, direct saturation via compost ditch will keep you from freezing. If it's so cold the water is freezing...what kind of plants are you watering, that they can survive freeze? Let's assume you are the 'average' person, excluding black water, you are at 200 gallons a day. Now, I expect you won't use that much. So let's hypothesize 40 gallons a day, that's a garbage can. Factor your filter flow, gpm, and outside storage and saturation capacity. Thats a lot of water. Hence why I say, big winter compost piles, with soaker hose drainage. Just my 2 cents. That nice wet steamy compost can be put to use to heat a decent sized hoop house. Workshop, or livestock barn.
 
Pia Jensen
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put more landscape over it? maybe a hugel of sorts with a base that protects and permeates (water and heat) and perhaps also acts - at the inter-space-overlap - as a heat and cooling exchange...

thinking about that at my place, in 2 spaces (so far) - at the back edge where there's a small dam that is plantable but I have to see how deep the flood is next time and the other space encompasses the edge under the greenhouse frame, between inside and outside. Contemplating coco husk shredded at base and wondering about the ultimate heat and cold waste exchange mechanisms/temp ranges/different materials... Summer/winter. See this greenhouse spaceand this framework for the space visual.
 
chad Christopher
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Location: Pittsburgh PA
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Won't let me edit, so here is the revised version.

Figure out how much water you consume. Over size the drain to the catchment, only allow a trickle to fill the grey bed, from your indoor storage and settlement catch. The better question is, how do I stop my filter from freezing? Moving water doesn't freeze. Gravity filters do. Indoor systems lend themselves to be stacked with hot water reclamation, and thermal mass storage. If all else fails, direct saturation via compost ditch will keep you from freezing. If it's so cold the water is freezing...what kind of plants are you watering, that they can survive freeze? Let's assume you are the 'average' person, excluding black water, you are at 200 gallons a day. Now, I expect you won't use that much. So let's hypothesize 40 gallons a day, that's a garbage can. Factor your filter flow, gpm, and outside storage and saturation capacity. Thats a lot of water. Hence why I say, big winter compost piles, with soaker hose drainage. Just my 2 cents. That nice wet steamy compost can be put to use to heat a decent sized hoop house. Workshop, or livestock barn. P.s. in my experience, it's important to prefilter the grey water in winter, because!, if stored indoors, the waste will become stagnant, FAST, and if left to drain into a pit somewhere, which it will freeze, it makes a terrible awfully gross mess when it eventually thaws. I don't care how 'green' you are, it gets real nasty. Don't let expensive, hypothetical Internet blogs and pictures convince you...it's still really nasty water, and not pretty if designed inpromtly.
 
Charles Tarnard
Posts: 337
Location: PDX Zone 8b 1/6th acre
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Thanks everyone. Gives me a little more to think on. I only really need the water in the summer so diverting to sewer might be the best thing in the short term, although I am notorious for forgetting those types of things until the cursing begins.
 
Erica Daly
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In my home, we use the bucket system. Shower water becomes clothes and car wash water, or flush water, or just garden or compost water. Clothes washing water is often reused as flush water. Winter is a struggle in freezing winter months. As I age (over 50) it becomes apparent I can't do this forever. And the coldest or most slippery days, it will remain in the house. So I need to find a better option for at least these times. I read a grey water book (1980s) a colleage at the time leant me and said it was the best thing he read recently. It was actually interesting and kept me reading (unlike the wiring book I could not follow). The codes around here have become more strict and I suspect I would understand more by reading up on this again.
 
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