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greywater system to USE the water for the garden

 
Angelika Maier
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Location: cool climate, Blue Mountains, Australia
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We have a grey water system, designed like every other greywater system and it is more or less a disposal system.
I want more. The main problem with the usual greywater systems is that you cannot really use the water to irrigate your garden, vegetables and all, because it simply flows out always at the same spot, which is great if yo can grow bananas - we can't.
What I am thinking around is a system which is useful in a drought to water your veggie garden. I am thinking around some magic ingredients: areation, EM, mycro (fungi) don't know how to spell this one, duckweed, azolla, biochar... animals(). Just some ideas thrown in - what do you think?
the water should be clean enough to be kept i a holding tank and not contain anything which is bad for the soil/plants.
 
John Elliott
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I think you should visit the Ethel M chocolate factory in Las Vegas. They manage to use 100% of their wastewater to keep botanical garden flourishing in the Mojave desert. They might have a few tricks in addition to the ones you have mentioned.
 
Angelika Maier
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I looked at the homepage and there was not a lot of info about their greywater system. It is a bit far away...
 
John Elliott
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Angelika Maier wrote:I looked at the homepage and there was not a lot of info about their greywater system. It is a bit far away...


Last time I was there, what struck me is that they kept the water moving, i.e., NOT in a holding tank. Oh, there were plenty of ponds, but they had lots of plants and fish in them, and water would trickle in one end and out the other. Moving the water keeps it oxygenated and full of the aerobic bacteria you want, not the anaerobes you don't want. If at the end of a long course you do have a place where the water can pond up, then you want to keep that well aerated for when you want to draw it down in dry times.
 
Rebecca Norman
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Angelika Maier wrote:The main problem with the usual greywater systems is that you cannot really use the water to irrigate your garden, vegetables and all, because it simply flows out always at the same spot


I would recommend Art Ludwig's book, Create an Oasis with Greywater. It is really so informative and practical. He gives details on how to design systems so that you move the water outlet to different places. Possibilities include having flexible pipe at the end and simply moving it physically to a different mulch basin from time to time, to hands-off systems using splitter valves and I don't know what all.
 
Bill Erickson
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Feidhlim Harty visited here on the forums a while back and gave lots of input on how to handle grey water in better ways. Another possible resource for your research.
 
Angelika Maier
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Thanks to all. Art Ludwig has the system I don't want! I will look up Harfy's posts.I saw something with a worm farm filter on the net which might be good.
 
Sojourner Fathom
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Location: Central Oklahoma
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I've only been looking into greywater treatment for a few months now, but the most promising g ideas I've found have been through the use of constructed wetlands, plants like cattails absorb heavy metals, where the flowing of water over waterfalls oxygenates it, aerobic bacteria helps remove toxins and voc's, and the running of water through ever finer gradients of gravel to silt removes particulates, and then you can even polish if off with activated charcoal if you want. It should be fine to water plants with after that, especially if you install a pump that delivers it to the roots through a slow drip system. Heck, add a bit of chlorine, and it might even be potable, provide you don't add too much, and allow time for it to dissipate.
 
Angelika Maier
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Location: cool climate, Blue Mountains, Australia
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You don't need to remove heavy metals normally. What goes into greywater? Detergent, dishwahsing liquid, soap, shampoo, toothpaste and fat.
The only bad thing is I couldn't use bath salt!!
I think the challenging part is that you do something to prevent fresh greywater mixing with 'treated' one.
 
Gilbert Fritz
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Location: Denver, CO
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Art Ludwig actually covers many systems; some of them which spread the water out over the landscape, others which treat it in one spot with a marsh or wetland or basin.

But you will not find anything in his work about storing greywater, even treated grey water, because he feels that if the greywater has been treated enough to be able to store, too much energy has been expended on a low value resource.
 
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