Grey water use without plumbing changes

jessiecaroleJune 6, 2002

We have an ongoing discussion in the soil forum about grey water use and another about air conditioner drip water. I find that the more I read the more confused I am concerning safety.

I currently use an immediate use (no storage) "bucketing" system which works well for me-- I simply use a dish pan in the sink and throw the water out into the garden. Majority of summer bathing is done in the yard. I lead a simple life.

My air conditioner is new and I feel comfortable catching and using the water for the garden. Again I do not store this water.

How comfortable are you all with the health issues associated with grey water use? Do you use ac drip water? Do you store your grey water?

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gardenlen(s/e qld aust)

g'day jessie,

currently we bucket our dish and bath water out to various fruit trees and vage' gardens, along with this goes what urine we collect over night or through the day.

when our system is finished all grey water will go via a grease trap then gravity feed to the citrus/stone fruit orchid. for us we have no concerns with any problems as we think there is a lot of hype used to benefit vested interests.

lens garden page

    Bookmark   June 7, 2002 at 1:51AM
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A long time ago when I was a kid the cesspool gave up and died. So to ease off on the overflow we took two minute "navy showers" and only flushed "when neccesary". Blecch!

Anyways....we were a household of eight, one grandad, a going-to-college-cousin, two parents, and four teens, ie, mega-loads of laundry. Mom and Pop hooked up the run-off hose from the washer to a garden hose, which could be put onto a sprinkler if needed, but generally the hose just ran out of the basement window and the grey-water flowed out onto the side lawn. Previous to the laundry water going out onto the lawn it was a barren wasteland. It was always dry and without much vegetation....weeds even avoided it, lol. But a few months after the wash-water started going out onto that lawn it returned to life....not just from the water, but more than likely we figured it was the nitrogen in the soap (Mom always used ivory soap flakes or something called dreft which is also for baby clothes).

You need to check if there are any ordinances in your township that allow grey-water to go out onto the lawn, some places do allow it...but it has to be from the washing machine or dishes, not tub water which could contain fecal contaminants (like when you wash baby's little toushy).


    Bookmark   June 9, 2002 at 3:21PM
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if you have a baby and do its wash in the machine then water is still pretty gray. Also my understanding is that watering lawns with any gray water is a risky practice if children play on the lawn.

I would rather use bath or shower water to flush toilets. Sorry but there is nothing "mellow" to me about an unflushed toilet.

Does anyone store gray water for future use? Len does your plan for the future include storage?

    Bookmark   June 9, 2002 at 3:35PM
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Where is the AC drip info to be found. I hadn't thought of it.

I plan to run hoses from the bathtubs/washing machine down to the garden. Hand pump: one of those fish tank squeezy thingees to get the water going??

I'll move the hose around a bit so there isn't soapy water being delivered in the same place every day. (over time I believe it may cause a buildup of salt?) This will be supplemented with rain barrel water. Gold fish in barrel will help keep algae, mosquitos down and produce nice fertilized "uber"-water.

I'd like to snake a hose on the ground (in the sun) outside the kitchen and use that for hot water for dish washing.

Aquarium water for plants that need a boost.

Will let you know how it works in reality in a few months.

Plan to save previous wash loads rinse water to wash next loads wash (no babies in the house). Soapiest water to be used for toilet flushing via buckets.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2002 at 3:28PM
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gardenlen(s/e qld aust)

g'day jessie,

sorry missed your reply earlier,

no we have no plans to store grey water it will all be used as fresh as it comes out of the greese trap. that system is running to the degree that we are yet to set up the drip system.


    Bookmark   September 16, 2002 at 7:26PM
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A "g'day" from you is worth the wait len. Glad to see this conversation moving.

midtenmama-- put gray water in any search and you will learn much more than you want (or possibly need) to know. I started catching air conditioner drip because I put my new little ac in a window on my front porch. I am amazed at the amount of water I get. If you set a wash tub of water in a sunny place you will have a good hot bath by evening. I'm not sure about the dishwashing but I like your style and ideas and sure want to hear about what works for you.

I have decided for myself that immediate use is less risky and easier than storing.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2002 at 7:47PM
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gardenlen(s/e qld aust)

g'day jessie,

we now wash in hot water totaly free, you see our pipes from the bore at present are above ground so on the hottest days the water is very hot, too hot to have a bath in. so that saves using the electric hot water system.

can be a bother if you need a midday bath in summer as we don't have cold water to cool the bath, but if we run it early enough and let it sit that works fine.

take care


    Bookmark   September 17, 2002 at 3:16AM
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I suppose a small sump pump could be used to drain water (through a window) from the tub to a barrel or right into a garden. Even a siphon hose would work. You just lay it flat in the tub till it fills with water (no bubbles) and put thumbs (or caps) over each end. Pass one end off to a helper standing outside and make sure your end is down in the water and remove the cap and have the partner do so also. The water will flow nicely with no fancy tools or machinery.

The morns are meeker than they were,
The nuts are getting brown;
The berry's cheek is plumper,
The rose is out of town. - Emily Dickinson

    Bookmark   September 18, 2002 at 6:44PM
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Where does one by a siphon hose? Plumbing supplies?

    Bookmark   September 19, 2002 at 9:54AM
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One of those large diameter clear hoses (sold by the foot) found at hardware stores would work best. A clear hose allows you to see if there are bubbles in it. Measure the distance and buy it a little longer than what you think you will need.

The morns are meeker than they were,
The nuts are getting brown;
The berry's cheek is plumper,
The rose is out of town. - Emily Dickinson

    Bookmark   September 19, 2002 at 1:57PM
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Mercy_Garden(z5 Santa FeNM)

Here in Santa Fe we had some drastic water restrictions imposed this summer due to the drought (and over-development, but that's another post). There was a cap on per-household use an a watering ban.

We rigged a graywater system for our laundry water only. The washer pumps the water up into a 55gal drum on a sturdy shelf about 3' off the floor. The drum immediately drains via gravity into a garden hose that we move around to the mulch basins of the various fruit trees. (Because the water does into the mulch basins, we are technically avoiding the State Engineer's edict that no graywater should go on surfaces or lawns.) We do have a baby--much of the laundry is hers, and the yard is her play area as well.

We have had no safety problems nor do I foresee any. Trees are loving it. I think many folks here have started using at least their laundry water this way. Here are some issues to keep in mind:

(1) Most popular method is just to hook a garden hose directly to the washer with an inexpensive connector. However, this will most certainly burn out the (very expensive!) pump on the washer should you inadvertantly have a kink in the hose or a lint plug-up or you park your car on the hose one day. Thus its much preferred to go from the washer to a large vessel nearby. This has the secondary benefit of slowing the flow and allowing the water to cool a bit from a hot-water load before it hits the plants.

(2) I understand its key from a health perspective to have the water moving immediately and constantly--i.e., not to store it. That way, it has no more bacteria and bugs in it than does your wet wash that you transfer to the dryer. Thus you should have the vessel empty at the same time it fills (even if it empties more slowly).

(3) Of course your plants will appreciate it if you use a biodegradable, mild, ecologically responsible soap and NO CLORINE BLEACH.

(4) A lot of lint comes out in the wash water. I catch most of it by using the leg of an old panty hose clamped to the hose that comes from the washer as it goes into the 55 gal barrel. Its enough to stop up a garden hose after a while--and more than enough to quickly ruin any sprinkler head I've seen.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2002 at 6:19PM
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Good and useful information Mercy and I also enjoyed your member page.

I am glad you explained how to properly make use of the washing machine water without ruining your machine. This is the kind of detailed information that people need.


    Bookmark   October 3, 2002 at 6:33PM
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Mercy_Garden(z5 Santa FeNM)

And thank you! I certainly enjoy this forum. Its a very pleasing community.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2002 at 2:16PM
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polly_il(z5/6 IL)

Back in years past, when we lived on a farm with very little water avaialble in the wells; we would slowly fill a barrel and 2 washtubs with water over a weeks time. On laundry day, we would pump the water into the washer by hand (or bucket, for water heated on the wood stove). We'd wash a load, and save the wash water in one tub; then rinse it, and save the rinse water in the other tub. We could use the wash water and rinse water for two loads for some of the laundry; and then the rinse water would become the wash water for the next load. We'd start with the least soiled and lightest color items first - sheets; then underclothes or whites and when the baby was in diapers, we would do them as a third load on the same water. Then lightweight, light color clothes; lightweight dark color clothes, towels, heavier weight clothes and then barn and chore clothing last. This rotation also helped out with clothesline and drying space; as the lighterweight items were dry by the time it was time to hang the items that would take longer to dry. Once we were through with a washer full of water, we drained it out into a tub; using a sump pump to pump it up and out a basement window, and into a series of guttering that we had rescued from the dump. We drilled holes in the gutters, and laid them along the rows of the garden. In between loads of laundry, I would hang the clothes on the line; and then we would go out to the garden and move the guttering to the next row of plants. Our garden got watered well once a week using this system. Bath water was siphoned out the bathroom window into 5 gallon buckets and carried out to the fruit trees and grapes; and dishes were done in a dish pan and the wash water tossed on the flower patch. We each had a pair of "barn bibs" that we would pull on over our clothes (or a shirt in the summer time) whenever we went in to the barn or to do other chores. They got washed weekly - whether they needed it or not!! This saved on heavy laundry. We also got used to changing into "play clothes" when we were at home - things that didn't need washed each day.

Gee, I miss the "Good Old Days"!

    Bookmark   October 10, 2002 at 6:15PM
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lou_farnorthqld(Far North Qld)

I live on the Atherton Tablelands, Far North Queensland Australia, tropical but at the moment we have a very dry spell and our last wet season was not as wet as it should have been, soon our area will have water restrictions.
I've fitted water saving shower rose and fitting to the kitchen sink, during showers we leave plug in bathtub (shower is over bath), then scoop water into bucket, this is used to water plants that are in pots on verandah.
I have made a water diversion device from part of a plastic bottle and cable ties (probably would need pictures so not going to try and describe), this I've fitted to the outlet from laundry tub (on exterior wall of house, then a length of drainpipe about 3ft long and some flume (20m long black plastic tube like plastic bag but bit tougher cost under 50c per m from hardware store) the end of the flume I've turned over and secured with bag tie, I've punched holes in flume with nail at the end for about 3 m, this acts as a soaker hose on my lawn- all the water from washing machine is thus used to water lawn instead of going into septic system. I rent so anything I do needs to be of a temporary nature.
Here is an interesting link on household water use -
best regards to everyone

Here is a link that might be useful: Loulou's digital home on the web

    Bookmark   October 11, 2002 at 6:40AM
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lou that is a great link and addresses some of the issues we were discussing on the soil forum til the topic got zapped. On page two of your link (I think) it describes a reed bed as taking up some pathogens from grey water. We were discussing in soil whether garden plants might take up e coli through their root systems. The debate in the soil forum was interesting even though much of it was over my head.

This link reinforces my thinking that simple immediate use systems are best for health and economic reasons.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2002 at 7:46AM
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Without children we use warm dish rinse water in a 4 gallon plastic tub in the sink for the initial 6 gallons of wash water for a front loader washing machine. This water is potable and clear with a tiny amount of dish soap. This is about 1/3 of the 18 gallons for an average load. Reuse saves well water, well pump, and the septic system. Water is transferred by reused 1 gallon milk containers turned into pitchers with no long term storage. Used laundry wash water is used in the toilette bowl. There is no storage except short term in pitchers. All water ends up in the septic system but there is less of it.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2009 at 12:49AM
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It was interesting to see this topic turn up in my inbox ~smile~

I am still using bathwater to flush the toilet and catching kitchen sink water in a dish pan. We have had a wet winter after 2-3 years of drought. I am looking forward to the gardening season.

Since this thread started in 02, I have had a small "point of use" water heater installed under my kitchen sink. It has an easily accessible on/off switch and heats up quickly. I really like it. I am also keeping appliances with "instant on" features unplugged when not in use.

Rereading this thread makes me miss Fireraven and the old Soil, Compost, Mulch.


    Bookmark   January 30, 2009 at 7:44AM
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gardenlen(s/e qld aust)

g'day to all,

good to see this thread regenerated.

yes miss fireraven also, for us a lot has changed since this thread first appeared, we are now back in the 'burb's, and still full on into recycling our used water, again it is used as fresh as it comes, never good to store grey water. we now have a recipe for laundry gel come hand wash and general purpose cleaner on our remedies page, all who try it are converted.

and of course we fully ascribe to twin tub washing machines they allow for top line management of water resources (rural folk swear by them), washing for us takes 80 litres of water that is rinse water included, this does 3 full loads of washing before it goes to potted plants (yes potted plants and without any downsides this is all some plants get) or garden.

we use buckets in the showers, and this along with some of the laundry water gets used to flush solids only in the toilet we don't flush urine, mine gets bucketed and added to pre-rinse dish water from the kitchen and then into the garden somewhere. dishes are washed by hand about every second day and we use a plastic basin that sits in the sink so this water can be transported to the garden also.

we have installed a 25k/litre water tank which supplies all of house needs, have only turned the town water on for about 2 weeks over the past 20 or so months. we also have some 200 litre plastic drums/barrels (pic's of all appear on our site) fitted to downpipes, this water is used in the washing machine, so we don't use our tank water for this job, we use a small 12 volt boat bilge pump to pump the water to the machine.

water is a valuable resource that should be used wisely even in areas that get lots of rain. get into practise of using good water management skills all the time.


Here is a link that might be useful: lens garden page

    Bookmark   January 30, 2009 at 1:12PM
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Hello len! I am so glad to hear from you. I have been reading your beautiful website. I only paused to come back and say g'day ~smile~

My life has also seen some change. I think finding your website may help me to make some decisions coming my way soon.

In the immediate future, I am planning a straw bale garden to feed myself this summer. It will probably be my last summer on this property, but I too plan to live as lightly and comfortably as possible wherever I end up.

I will miss "my" birds but there will be birds in whatever new place that finds me. I need to think of this change as an adventure instead of a sadness. Your website has been a help already.

I am in Tennessee USA but one of my daughters visited Australia last fall and has plans to relocate there. She will be in the Mornington Peninsula area.

Perhaps we can generate some interest and get this site moving again. Avnart, you have my sincere gratitude for adding to this thread and bringing me back to Garden Web


    Bookmark   January 30, 2009 at 2:19PM
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gardenlen(s/e qld aust)

g'day jc,

yes we all need to go through change at times, nothing is forever, as they say never say never hey chuckle.

sadly we went from having many many birds to new suburbia with almost no birds, our modern children will have no idea of our native birds that once populated the older suburbs where yards had room for kids and trees.

mmm mornington peninsular! me i'm a queenslander, we have the best climate, they down there are going through their usual heatwave conditions down that way along with those horrid bushfires, and other associated issues affecting power supply and transportation. we might have some humidity to deal with but that is pretty much as bad as it gets.

anyhow she has a local she can chat with hey lol?

sadly permaculture has gone stale, not only here but in many other forums, mostly due to the fact that those in cahrge have failed to get mass grass roots level interest & acceptance in our communities, the higher echalon has failed in this area, pc is driven by a very elitist group(see my essay). they have killed the goose that could have laid the golden eggs.

and about the most major casue of this non-acceptance by and of the masses, is the high falluting snobbery of those who promote the need for doing courses(paying to do projects for others, paying to be a wwoofer) that give little more than a piece of paper to frame for some more inverted snobbery when sharing drinks with cohorts.

we have tried before to get this group going but to no avail, new players get scared off with talk of certificates, books and diplomas, all for something that is founded on common sense procedures.

anyhow we can chat anytime, i don't visit here every day(until now just seeing where this thread will go) but i do look in or you can send me an e/mail anytime as anyone can.


    Bookmark   January 31, 2009 at 1:09PM
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Thank you jessiecarole for your kind comment. This site is more practical than some others. Here we, to paraphrase M. Gandhi don't just type the green (planetgreen), live green and take it seriously. We can do a lot on a personal level to conserve natural resources and usually money.
Our township, Lisbon, WI classifies shower, laundry water as blackwater, and must end up in the septic system. With the current economy, point of use heaters are too expensive without renter or homeowner subsidy or tax credit as is done in Europe with pv cells. We save warm up water for showers, about 1 1/2 gallons. This water is used to wash dishes by hand. We are puttig a second layer of pipe insulation to reduce the amount of warm up water.
We have saved basement distilled dehumidifier and ac water in 33 gallon plastic garbage cans with lids secured. This is not potable unless chlorine bleach or other disinfectant is added then water filtered in an emergency.
We hope to see more of contibuter practical empircally tested ideas

    Bookmark   February 2, 2009 at 12:17AM
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Belgianpup(Wa/Zone 7b)

One thing that has long annoyed me about the permaculturists is the attitude that it is practically a religion, and can only be done in certain ways, using certain methods, and taught only by specially anointed people. That elitist attitude has done nothing to promote a valuable concept.

Avnart, get hold a the book Solviva by Anna Edey, and find the part (near the beginning) where she is given info on solar heating from the 1880s and tries her own experiment on a freezing day in CT. The same concept can be used easily for pre-heating water. Check the Mother Earth News archived articles (free online) for info, of which I am sure they have quite a bit.

Also, the greywater/blackwater laws are everywhere, but many people are using greywater using the "don't ask/don't tell" theory. If you haven't read it already, your library system can get a book written by the King of Greywater, Art Ludwig, "The NEW Create an Oasis with Grey Water". Be sure to get the one with NEW in the title, as it has an important section on branched greywater systems which could be very useful to you. His site is below.

Hey, Len, always good to see you here!

Sue in WA

Here is a link that might be useful: Oasis Design and GreyWater systems

    Bookmark   February 7, 2009 at 11:38PM
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gardenlen(s/e qld aust)

g'day sue,

"sue said,
One thing that has long annoyed me about the permaculturists is the attitude that it is practically a religion, and can only be done in certain ways, using certain methods, and taught only by specially anointed people. That elitist attitude has done nothing to promote a valuable concept."

they killed the goose that would have laid the golden egg, the golden egg would have had nothing to do with someone acquiring a healthy bank account. at the top end anything that is done is for self gratification.

i try to get this message across in my essay, what you said is exactly the problem why pc has become even more irrelevant than it was, i still say unless we can get the idea of permaculture out to the grassroots level en-mass then pc can do nothing to change the way people live to excess in consumerism lifestyle and using resources to excess.

and grey water laws are just stand over laws and all should simply as you say on the QT use it, "tell 'em nothing; take 'em nowhere", "what their eye don't see their little hearts won't yearn for".

the very first post at the top of this list is what turns many away, its been sitting there for quiet a while now. like you and many others we want to teach people what we know or i should say how and what we do but all free.

even if you have a look at that pc org site it has gone quiet. some irrelevant chat about other issues probably not realy purtaining to pc.

anyhow only time will tell if it can be revived, there seems to be only about 3 or so of us here who do postings.

take care


Here is a link that might be useful: lens garden page

    Bookmark   February 8, 2009 at 1:28PM
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ac drip water is essentially distilled h2o. you might have bacteria growing on your condensor coils, which would be introduced to the water, so i wouldn't use it for drinking, but it should work fine for watering plants.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2009 at 11:14AM
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terran(zone10/Sunset20 CA)

We ,also, keep a dishpan in the kitchen sink to collect water to shower plants that are close to the house by tossing it out over the deck rail. This had been our habit for a number of years. A pomegranate that was a recipient always looked deficient, but I didn't know what to do about it.

This last year we started brewing Kombucha. Sediment collects in the 16 oz. bottles in which it is stored. I rinse the dregs out into the dishpan, so the amount of microorganisms is diluted in a ratio of 1000s if not 1,000,000s to one.

Eventually, I noticed how much healthier the pomegranate had become. The leaves were dark, glossy, and green as opposed to the anemic yellow green they had been previously. It took me awhile to realize that the only differential in the pomegranate's regimen from the previous years was the miniscule amount of Kombucha in the shower water.

This spring I decided to foliar feed another pomegranate that is far from the house and that also had looked deficient. It was sprayed as the buds were opening, and, now, in full leaf it has the same appearance as its counterpart on the other side of the house. One of the main constituents of the probiotic content of the Kombucha is Lactobacillus Bacterium.

The general idea behind what was observed with use of the Kombucha is reflected in the initials BIM that indicate either Beneficial or Biological Indigenous Microorganisms. A search will turn up additional information, and ways to cultivate local microorganisms.

In the last year or so, I also came across information on Effective Microorganisms (EM); the work of Dr. Teruo Higa ( The work indicates that the addition of EM to septic systems can remediate the tainted water.

In one instance, Dr. Higa relates that the effluent from the septic tank at the Gushigawa City Public Library on Okinawa was more pure after passing through its three stage system than it was after rainwater from the library's roof was introduced into the holding tank. The water is then used for irrigation. (p.148 of An Earth Saving Revolution Sunmark Publishing Inc.)

From what I can gather, the first two stages of the library's system are equivalent to the systems used in the U.S., while the third stage pumps air into the effluent to, further, the decontamination to the point where it is more pure than collected rainwater.

It would seem that the safety issues are eliminated when there is healthy soil around that include the microorganisms to make use of gray water a non-issue, and with the supplemental use of concentrated microorganisms even black water can be made useful.

The information that came my way in the last year or so on Kombucha, Effective Microorganisms, and Terra Preta do Indio / Biochar are some of the most hopeful things I have come across in some time.

Terra Preta do Indio


Here is a link that might be useful: Kombucha

    Bookmark   June 21, 2009 at 8:40PM
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Belgianpup(Wa/Zone 7b)

A grey water drip line sounds like an adventure in frustration! Clean TAP water commonly has enough minerals in it to clog drip lines, so what is going to happen with lint and soaps?

    Bookmark   March 21, 2011 at 8:30PM
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heathersgarden(6b/7a Mid TN)

Fascinating discussion, and inspiring as well. I really felt like an oddball loner with my 5 gallon bucket next to the sink. And I've long been wanting to divert the rinse water from my washer to the exterior where it can benefit the lawn. I feel like I found my people:)

Does anyone have a comment on how to responsibly use/maintain a rain barrel?

    Bookmark   April 7, 2011 at 11:13PM
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Hello Paul

When I wrote my reply, your website was incomplete. I'm glad you came back.

This thread is 9 years old ~smile~ and came out of a thread on the SCM forum on the "old" Gardenweb.

I hope your ideas and products are a workable solution to the problem of the increasingly short supply of usable water. I respectfully disagree on the definition of "grey water" vs "black water", and I'm not so sure that water/soap/dirt and plants are the same on both continents or all continents. Culture and custom, which influence the use of any product, must also be factored in.

I admit to leaning toward hysterical thinking when it comes to pandemic disease. I think "science' works for the general good as it perceives it, with a built in recognition that there will be casualties along the way. That is a generalization. I'm not talking about your product... just answering your strong recommendation~smile~

I'm old enough to remember polio. I think a difference in our ages may explain some of the difference in our point of view concerning risk.

I wish garden len was here.

Here's the thing that bothers me about any water reuse system. Its only as safe as the people who use the system install and use it. Shortcuts, ignorance, unforseen circumstances..... why is a greywater reuse system any more reliable than traditional plumbing?

I still think that if EVERYONE started with a bucket in the sink we would make a tremendous impact.

Its late here. I'm not going to try to edit. I would enjoy seeing others post here again. I am going to look at your site again. I find the topic very interesting.


    Bookmark   June 15, 2011 at 2:14AM
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Belgianpup(Wa/Zone 7b)

I'm old enough to remember polio, too. But I'm also aware that Americans (in particular) have been very well trained to fear so much in the way of germs that it has become a fanaticism, and a very PROFITABLE fanaticism for many, many people.

There are probably places where greywater use wouldn't work too well. Applying it to the dead soil of chemical farms comes to mind first.

The good bacteria in the soil can feed on the bacteria in the greywater, and change it to a form that can feed plants, and that's a good thing. But our drain-and-forget mentality about greywater fits the standardized thinking.

Americans sure don't mind eating low-nutrition food from dead soil, but get rabid when someone mentions the word 'bacteria'. They forget that there are good and bad bacteria, or maybe they've been trained so well that they don't even know that.

It has been predicted that the next wars will be fought over water supplies. Maybe some common sense will prevail then. Maybe...


    Bookmark   June 25, 2011 at 6:21PM
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Sue, the link you posted in 09 is still live.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2011 at 9:44AM
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marshallz10(z9-10 CA)

I am amazed to rediscover this thread resurrected again on the PC page. The topic has generated a lot of heat and attracted a few folks looking to make a buck or two.

Over the years, often coinciding to periods of winter drought, I've installed and/or managed domestic graywater systems in Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties, California. Most of these were initially very expensive and managed relatively small volumes of gray water. The goal of any graywater system is to deposit the liquid in or near the rootzone of perennial ornamental and edible fruit and nut trees. From time to time these delivery zones need to be leached with fresher irrigation water or rainfall.

    Bookmark   December 30, 2011 at 7:36PM
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Rather than dipping you can pump the water out. Bilge pumps are fairly inexpensive. There are also electric pumps with float valves made for air conditioner condensate pans and ice makers that could be used. A bucket could be placed under a lavatory and the discharge lines from these could lead through the wall to a remote storage tank outside the house.

    Bookmark   December 31, 2011 at 6:39AM
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I have found the easiest way to re-use a bunch of "used" water is to drain the washing machine to the yard via a buried hose (buried to get out of sight and for freeze protection) and with an air-gap to protect the washing machine pump. Without any replumbing of sinks and bathtubs I still save a lot of water per month. I have sandy soil so infiltration takes just a small area. I can have a small shallow trench under a board and leaf mulch so there is no surface exposure. Soil is extremely effective in sorbing bacteria (not so well for viruses) and in any case neither microorganism will enter plant roots. I water a pecan tree. I have not needed to move the infiltration site in 20 years.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2012 at 6:56PM
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