This may be a stupid question but I am currently living with no running water or plumbing and I am looking to set a simple grey water system and I was wondering if it would be possible to use an area in my unfinished basement, which is currently sand, rocks, and gravel and goes into the ground, as a grey water filter and just run the water down there and into a pit? Ideally I would like to figure out some sort of system that can go in the basement.
John C Daley wrote:Grey water has solids which may putrefy if you put them into a basement.
You may find you would need to leave home.
Why not run some pipe as far as is possible and let it drain to the open ground?
I was thinking something along the lines of this. The reason I want to do it this way is because it will soon be fall and then winter here and I would like a system that is contained within the home for easy access until I am able to build a permanent system in the spring. I just moved here and am looking for a quick fix while I renovate and set up the inside of the cabin. The system I had before this was connected to a sink in the bathroom and went into a pit in the backyard but during renovation that sink and room have been moved and the way the system was set up would definitely freeze come winter.
For specifics, I am one person living alone here so my greywater output is minimal. There is no running water or plumbing and I am using water jugs. The greywater would come solely from dishes and bathing.
There is no storage of water happening in this system. The filter part would just be a hole dug into the ground. The first filter would catch any solid food waste and would be cleaned and the remaining water would enter the pit and sink into the ground after the sand filter as the basement floor is earth and rocks. There is no tank involved.
I think the filter would become a nasty stinky mess. Instead of a filter you have to clean, what about a worm bin so the worms can eat the solids? Something like a worm flush toilet except just for greywater and not toilet.
Tyler Ludens wrote:I think the filter would become a nasty stinky mess. Instead of a filter you have to clean, what about a worm bin so the worms can eat the solids? Something like a worm flush toilet except just for greywater and not toilet.
Here we have a lot of "one pipers". It is just a pipe that drains to daylight (downhill at 1/4 inch per foot), The pipe is cheap field tile (plastic pipe in 100 foot rolls that is super cheap to buy). A trench is dug and then half filled with rock. Then the pipe is put on top and back filled with hay and then soil.
It is only a foot underground, but the water is draining and warm so it does not freeze like you would think, even in our Maine winter. And it would take just as much time to do as it would to build your system.
Your system will not work and be like Tyley Luden says. You are right, your design is a filter, but what you do not understand is, your filter could not handle the sudden influx of water it would take when you took a shower for instance. The filter you designed is slow acting, where as a house gets periodic moments of heavy flow.
Draining the greywater into the basement is a poor solution, in my opinion, wasting a resource which could be used to grow plants in the warm season. The kind of pipe system Travis mentions can be used to grow plants for compost during the warm season, though it will tend to be dormant during cold weather.