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Handling Grey Water  RSS feed

 
Ryder Spearmann
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Hi All.

I live in a Tiny House that was set up to produce only grey water, but I am in a situation where I need to store it, then pump it into the sewer system (make landlord happy).

So I will need to pump it into a 55 ga drum or similar.... pull it 200 feet (by my truck I expect), and then send it into the sewer system.

The questions I have surround ONLY the practical aspects of getting this done right.  to get it into the barrel, I will need to pump it... and the store it for probably as long as a week...  then empty it weekly by way of a valve low on the barrel side.

It would work best by going into a small(ish) container with pump and level switch... pumping only occasionally when filled to a certain level.  Quiet is good.

I understand there are pumps now that can easily handle the particulates... though I would prefer a small pump.  (small house) . I suppose a "pond pump" would work well.  They are used to being in particle heavy environments.

One other option is to use a squat/wide tank that would fit under the house... I believe there is 1' of room or so... and then I could simply fill that, using no pump.

I understand that smell can be a problem for storage... but if it is "air tight" then it shouldn't be a problem, yes?  Also, one could "spike" it with chlorine bleach or similar on occasion to keep bacteria down.

Oh, and I should mention... the grey water will contain urine... not that I think that matters much (but might legally... as if cats and dogs aren't pissing all over every neighborhood in the world)

Please weigh in on this plan!  You experience could really help me get this right.

Thanks for your kind help,

Ryder
 
Angelika Maier
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There are pumps for greywater but after a week it will smell tremendously. Can't you simply pump it off every day?
 
Ryder Spearmann
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Angelika Maier wrote:There are pumps for greywater but after a week it will smell tremendously. Can't you simply pump it off every day?


I'm wondering, why would it smell in an air tight container?

Also, can't something be added to prevent the bacteria and prevent smell?

You can make toxic water drinkable with the right treatment and literally save lives (the exact opposite of toxic).  Everyone should study how to prevent deadly bacteria from spreading ...  and be prepared especially in emergencies when clean water infrastructure is damaged (fires, earthquakes, etc)
 
Anne Miller
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Ryder, welcome to permies.

My concern with a pump is the bits of food scraps that might be in the grey water.

This may be something that might solve your problem:

This ingenious tank is in a class by itself. Completely self-contained so there are no required accessories to buy or parts to store. Each model has up to 20% more capacity than competitive models for fewer fill-ups - saving time and effort.

Features:      No heavy lifting - use the convenient, included tow handle (on LX models) to easily pull your SmartTote from RV to evacuation.

smarttote-portable-waste-holding-tank-12-gallon-2-wheel

Sorry, I picked the cheapest one and it does not have the "tow handle" so look at their other options as you may want a handle.

Depending on your water usage, you would need to make a few more trips than with a 55 gallon barrel.

Maybe you could use some of the grey water like from hand washing to water plants so that you do not generate as much grey water.
 
Peter VanDerWal
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Location: Southern Arizona
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Ryder Spearmann wrote:
I'm wondering, why would it smell in an air tight container?

Also, can't something be added to prevent the bacteria and prevent smell?
(fires, earthquakes, etc)


The bacteria are in the water already, as is other biological material that the bacteria will feed on, and oxygen dissolved in the water.  However, the really stinky bacteria don't need oxygen (anarobic bacteria).

Can you prevent the bacteria from growing?  Sure, you can keep the water heated above 130 deg F, or near freezing, or add poisons/chemicals, or use a UV light, etc.

Is there any particular reason the LL won't let you use it to water trees, bushes, etc.?

You might also look into something called a "Constructed Wetland", this can clean the grey water to the point where it's a clean, or cleaner, than a creek or stream.  Not quite clean enough to drink, but much cleaner than grey water.
 
Ryder Spearmann
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Peter VanDerWal wrote:
Ryder Spearmann wrote:
I'm wondering, why would it smell in an air tight container?

Also, can't something be added to prevent the bacteria and prevent smell?
(fires, earthquakes, etc)


The bacteria are in the water already, as is other biological material that the bacteria will feed on, and oxygen dissolved in the water.  However, the really stinky bacteria don't need oxygen (anarobic bacteria).

Can you prevent the bacteria from growing?  Sure, you can keep the water heated above 130 deg F, or near freezing, or add poisons/chemicals, or use a UV light, etc.

Is there any particular reason the LL won't let you use it to water trees, bushes, etc.?



Yes.  It is illegal where I am.  They consider anything coming from a sink as "sewage".

The point about "air tight" storage of stinky water... is that the smell exists, but is contained.  Shouldn't that work?  I don't care if water is stinky, in a sealed container.

 
Heather-Gaia Thorpe
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Is there a way that you can reuse the grey water to flush your toilet?
 
Ryder Spearmann
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Heather-Gaia Thorpe wrote:Is there a way that you can reuse the grey water to flush your toilet?


My toilet is a composting type.  No flushing.  This is specifically about grey water.
 
Creighton Samuiels
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What, specifically, are the rules in your area?  Would a dry well work?  What jurisdiction is this?  Because depending on where it is, I'd wager that it's not true that grey water is regarded as sewage anymore.  Some old, local inspectors might not be up on details; but I'd be willing to bet that this isn't quite true.  There might very well be a ban on using grey water to water plants above ground, because there are some real health risks to animals & children doing that way; but a buried drain tile style pipe or a dry well is likely to be acceptable legally, at least in the United States.
 
Tiffaney Dex
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Can you not just have it go into a small grey water plant filtration system first? You can use a couple of large plant containers for it, one set higher than the other. After the water passes through the first two, it would go into the third, which you could then throw in the sewage, as required by law. The plants will clean the water, instead of the water stagnating.

I'm sorry that I do not know where exactly to find the information in English. I can figure out the English names of the plants you would use, if you chose to do this as a solution. Plant filtration really is an incredible solution.
 
Timothy Dowty
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Location: CT
books food preservation hunting
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Its hard to beat the honey carts that were posted higher on the thread for moving the waste water.  They have been a staple of the RV world or decades and are fairly bulletproof.  I will mention that if you are looking for a good wet pump with a low power draw you may consider rigging a bilge pump from a boat distributor.  The pumps are fairly inexpensive, rugged with solid impellers and often come coupled with a float switch that will auto activate the pump when you have standing water.  The pumps are rigged for 12V batteries which readily accept solar trickle charges.  I bet you could get the whole rig into a 2 foot square footprint in your tiny house, or under it depending on your set up.   Good luck, post some pics of your remedy. 
 
Anne Miller
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Location: USDA Zone 8a
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You might be able to add hydrogen peroxide to the tank to control the smell, It is used as a way to disinfect and clean things, the oxygen in the HP is actually good for plants and can be used to as a water purifier. I use it in my laundry instead of bleach.

I like Tiffaney Dex's picture.

This link might help as it has info on Pumped Systems and on Constructed Wetlands.  On the Constructed Wetlands greywater is also a good source of irrigation for beautiful, water loving wetland plants. 

https://greywateraction.org/greywater-reuse/

 
Larry Bock
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After being in the plumbing trade I may be able to add something. If you decide to go the pump route, ejector pumps have come a long way since I first started. Yes they used to be smelly and nasty. You are only pumping grey water, so you would not need the more expensive grinder style pumps. 200' (laterally) is not too far away. A 1" pic pipe is all that is required even on the smaller grinder pumps that you would use to install a full bathroom in a basemen where the sewer exits up high. I would think a couple hundred feet of decent quality 3/4 garden hose would work just fine ( eliminates the 55 gallon drum)  I think my only concern would be grease build up as it cools and congeal over the 200'. If you kept an eye on the discharge and hooked it up to a hot water spigot when you notices a reduction in flow. That should solve this, along with reminding yourself that grease should not be dumped down the drain. Restaurants and such have a grease trap to keep this from happening.   Larry
 
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