Keep your lawn and garden lush without wasting resources by capturing and recycling the greywater that drains from your sink, shower, and washing machine. This accessible and detailed guide walks you through each step of planning for and installing a variety of greywater systems, including laundry-to-landscape and branched drain gravity-fed systems. After identifying greywater sources in your home and estimating flow rate, you’ll learn to pinpoint where to redirect the wastewater for the greatest benefit. No matter which system you decide to build, you'll have the information to construct it yourself or move forward with confidence to hire a professional.
Being a greywater virgin, I was so happy to find a book as helpful and informative as this one was. In her book, Laura Allen shares the greywater process from planning to equipment to putting it all together. She goes into the technical aspects, as well as the legal ones, which is really handy for someone new like me.
The book includes colored illustrations for the planning and layout, as well as excellent photographs of the equipment and the steps for putting the systems together. Very nicely done.
The book is laid out in two parts. Part 1 is all about Planning Your Home Greywater System. It includes the following chapters.
Greywater Systems 101
What is Greywater?
Types of Greywater Systes
Health and Safety Considerations
Greywater in Freezng Climates
Greywater Sources and Plumbing
Identify Your Greywaer Sources
Your Homes’ drain, Waste, and Vent System
Undesirable Greywater Sources
Summary of Greywater Sources
Estimate Your Greywater Flows
Code Estimates vs. Personal Calculations
Calculating Weekly Greywater Flows
Finding the Flow Rates of Different Fixtures
Soils and Mulch Basins
Soil Structure and Type
Identify Your Soil Type with a Soil Ribbon Test
Determine How Water Flows through Your Soil with an Infiltration Test
Protect Groundwater and Drinking Water Wells
Plants and Irrigation
Chosing Plants for Greywater Irrigation
How Much Water Do My Plants Want?
Choosing a Greywater System
System Design Considerations
When Greywater Is Not a Great Idea
Using Greywater Indoors: Toilet Flushing
Choosing a Greywater Irrigation System
Greywater Systems at a Glance
When to Turn Off the System
Codes and Regulations
A Brief History of Greywater Plumbing Codes
Greywater Coes: Performance and Prescriptive
National Codes and Standards
In the first part, you’ll not only learn the basics of greywater systems, you’ll also learn about how your present plumbing system works. You’ll learn about some of the technical and legal problems you might run into so you’ll be prepared.
Laura will walk you through a couple of different simple systems, and she also shares how to calculate your greywater flows, do a perk test, and build a mulch basin.
In Part 2, Building Your Home Greywater System, you’ll get the technical aspects and installation directions to set up a ‘laundry-to-landscape’ system, and a Branched Drain Gravity-Flow System. She also walks you through a few different higher-end systems, and gives the pros and cons.
Here are the chapters in Part 2.
Install a Laundry-to-Landscape (L2L) System
Installing an L2L Irrigation System
Install a Branched Drain Gravity-Flow System
Installing a Branched Drain System
How to Wire an Actuator
Pumped and Manufactured Greywater Systems
Building a Pumpted System
Manufactured Greywater Systems
Other Types of Greywater Systems
Whole-House Greywater Systems
Subsoil Infiltration Systems
Greywater for Greenhouses
Sand Filter to Drip Irrigation
Reusing Septic Tank Effluent for Irrigation
Plumbing Basics for Greywter Installation
Basic Installation Techniques
Laura includes a comprehensive Resources section with websites and books to help you on your journey.
I enjoyed the tone of the book, and found her explanations of the technical and legal aspects easy to understand. Just enough detail without getting to bogged down in stuff that I don’t need to know.
All in all, I found the book accessible, easily understandable, and full of all of the information I need to start planning my own greywater system. I know there may be other types of systems and techniques out there, but this book is a great starting book for getting your feet wet. (See what I did there? Greywater . . . get your feet wet . . . get it?)
If you’re looking for a book to read to get started on your very own greywater system, I highly recommend this one!