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Greywater, Green Landscape by Laura Allen

Posts: 2154
Location: Sunshine Coast, BC
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Courtesy of Storey Publishing


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.

Where to get it

Storey Publishing
Tracy Wandling
Posts: 2154
Location: Sunshine Coast, BC
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I give this book 10 out of 10 acorns.

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
 Mulch Basins
 Protect Groundwater and Drinking Water Wells

Plants and Irrigation
 Chosing Plants for Greywater Irrigation
 How Much Water Do My Plants Want?
 Plant-Friendly Soaps

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
 Design Considerations
   Installing an L2L Irrigation System
 Irrigation Options

Install a Branched Drain Gravity-Flow System
 Design Considerations
   Installing a Branched Drain System
   How to Wire an Actuator

Pumped and Manufactured Greywater Systems
 Design Considerations
   Building a Pumpted System
 Manufactured Greywater Systems

Other Types of Greywater Systems
 Outdoor Fixtures
 Whole-House Greywater Systems
 Subsoil Infiltration Systems
 Greywater for Greenhouses
 Constructed Wetlands
 Sand Filter to Drip Irrigation
 Reusing Septic Tank Effluent for Irrigation

 Plumbing Basics for Greywter Installation
 Parts Primer
 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!
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