David Hernick wrote:This thread reminded of something I saw on Penny Livingston, here is a link:
The picture says it is a grey water pond for ducks, but the article does not go into much detail on the pond. ...
Peter VanDerWal wrote:I would not bother trying to use either grey water or rain water for your toilet, it would be a waste of time and resources. Anything that goes down the toilet is gone for all practical purposes so why bother using rain water?
Rain water is an excellent resource for watering your garden, unless you can collect so much that you can't use it all on the garden, why waste it anywhere else? The same goes for grey water.
Until you get to the point where you have an abundance of rain/grey water and can't use it all in the garden, it's pointless to try using it anywhere else. Think about it, if you want to use it in the toilet you are going to have to build filters etc. which will require time and materials (money) then you will have ongoing maintenance of those filters (more time and resources), plus you will have to add new plumbing, seperate from your existing plumbing, to route this water to your toilets. Either that or fill your toilets from buckets (more time and resources). After you go through all of that, what do you gain?
From The Water-Wise Home:
Sample Treatment Methods for Indoor Use of Rainwater
Specific filtration and disinfection requirements are determined by local regulations and installer preferences, but here are some common treatment methods for different end uses:
▪ Filtration: Minimum 50-micron sediment filter (prevents grit from interfering with toilet valves)
▪ Optional: Carbon filter to address any color or odor issues
▪ Permitting agencies may require 5-micron filters and disinfection
Elizabeth Rabeler wrote:
Hi Laura, we would like to fill the pond with freshwater and then use greywater from our house to keep it full and refreshed. I am thinking of a small pond, nothing too grandiose- just enough for 7 ducks to enjoy.
From Greywater, Green Landscape: Though technically easy and also beautiful and fun, treating greywater
for a backyard pond is not something I recommend. If your goal is to save water, a greywater pond isn’t the right choice. The quality of greywater is unsuitable to fill a pond; it must be filtered by wetland plants first (unless you want a pool of disgusting, stinky greywater). Thirsty wetland plants not only use water, but they also remove nutrients and organic matter from the water, which your garden could benefit from; less greywater flows out of the wetland than in.
A water-wise choice for anyone with both a pond and a landscape is to irrigate with greywater and fill the pond with freshwater (or rainwater), bypassing the need for the water-loving wetland filter. Separately, greywater ponds epitomize the concerns of the regulatory world. Their list of potential hazards includes: drowning risk for children, potential for direct contact with the water, mosquito breeding grounds, and possible overflow to a neighbor’s yard or storm drain. Ponding greywater is prohibited by even the most lenient codes.
"The Bigger Picture
What would happen to the entire municipal sewer system if lots of people reused greywater? Massive sewage clogs? Probably not. In the Study of the Effects of On-Site Greywater Reuse on Municipal Sewer Systems (2011; see Resources) researchers used hydrologic models of the sewer system to identify levels of flows and pollutant loads throughout the day. They found the sewer system operated with large fluctuations in flows, with two major peaks occurring each day (morning and evening). Reusing greywater would have the largest impact on the system during these peak flow times (imagine lots
of morning bathing water going into the yard instead of the sewer). Widespread reuse of greywater would reduce the peak flows but would have almost no impact on the system during the current lowest-flow times of the day (when toilet flushing is the major source of water in the system).
Because the sewer system currently operates at these low-flow times, and these flow rates would not be affected, researchers concluded that widespread reuse of greywater should not increase blockages. In fact, they hypothesized that sewer systems could experience positive effects from greywater reuse with an increase in capacity."