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Greywater, Green Landscape by Laura Allen  RSS feed

Posts: 1827
Location: Cortes Island, British Columbia. Zone: 8ish Lat: 50; Rainfall: 50" ish; sand and rocks; well water
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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: 1827
Location: Cortes Island, British Columbia. Zone: 8ish Lat: 50; Rainfall: 50" ish; sand and rocks; well water
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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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