Hello, I am wanting to set up a grey water system in my home to reuse for wateringfruittrees in my yard. I live outside of Boise, Idaho where it is a high desert and I already have a couple of rain barrels connected to my gutter system but I want to reuse as much water resources as I can.
I have a kitchen and bathroom sink, a shower/tub and basement clothes washer that all funnel into one pipe in my basement. Just to clarify, the kitchen and bathroom sink, as well as, the shower/tub is located on the ground floor while my clothes washer is in the basement directly below. The help and advice I am looking for is whether I should individually send the grey water out of the house from each with their own branched drain or if I should/can have one branched drain from the main pipe in my basement out to the yard? Attached is a picture of the basement piping.
I am open to any other advice and ideas but this was my initial thought. This is all new to me but would love to reuse that water another time especially with 5 fruit trees in my front and backyard. I do already use biodegradable laundry detergent, hand & dish soap as well as biodegradable bodywash.
Alex, I am assuming that they all currently come together in the basement into a sewer pipe, which means the toilets are also connected? (Or has someone already separated that for you?) So you want to disconnect the "grey water" piping from the sewage, correct? I would think that you could connect all of the grey water into one large pipe going out of the house, and then you could divert it using y's and t's and smaller piping to go wherever you wanted. You just have to be sure that the elevation drops from the lowest point, which is the washer, so that the water flows out of the house and does not back up into the basement. Might need a pump and a collection tank?
The question is, do you have a place where you can punch the new Grey water pipe out through your foundation ? It might be easier to pipe all of the upstairs grey water out above the basement cement so that you only have to cut the wood frame of the house, and not have to worry so much about elevation and flow of water.
If it has already been separated where does the grey water go now?
A thing to consider with greywater distribution is the load of sediment and goo that builds up. If you put together something using pipe or tubing that involves tee fittings, don't glue it all together. You'll want to take it apart periodically and clean out the har, lint and assorted slimy ick that collects. Luckily for you this stuff can go right into the soil instead of blocking up your lines.
And don't even try to rig up a drip or soaker system...it will clog the first time you do a load of work clothes. Simple is best, gravity's your friend and get it all into the soil within a few hours to keep it from turning to blackwater.
Miles, the toilet is already separate from the sinks, tub, and washer and it just goes into the main sewer pipe along with a separate toilet pipe. I don’t want to fully disconnect the greywater from the sewage but thought about a branched system to be able to have the option to divert the greywater outside or route it back into the sewage line. I assume there are systems like that. I do see your point in going out of the wood portion of the house and not the foundation and will need to look at the wall more to see if there is any other access from the basement, there is a basement window right next to the pipes so that might be an option. I think a pump and holding tank is what I was thinking. Any suggestions on a pump, holding tank or branched pipe?
I built a system using an ibc tote as a holding tank. This was done to meet Tx regulations. No puddling is allowed and no discharge allowed in rain. It requires me to hold 3 days of discharge in case theres 3 days of rain.
Fyi, kitchen sink is considered black water here so you might check that if you are meeting local regs.
From the ibc tote it required a backwater valve (backflow preventer) then went to perforated pipe under ground (no puddling)
If you want a good splitter system, Christ Spoorenberg from Co. Sligo, Ireland has been developing an excellent unit to split septic tank effluent in 12 directions. By using 3 units you can get 24 pipe ends and so on as needed. His website is www.ribbit.ie. Also the oasisdesign.net site is an excellent resource if you haven't already seen it; as is Anna Eday's site solviva.com.