"gray" water

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by CountryMamaof5, Sep 4, 2006.

  1. CountryMamaof5

    CountryMamaof5 Well-Known Member

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    Does anyone here reuse their "gray" water? How do you use it ? Do you filter the water first? tell me the details :)
     
  2. sisterpine

    sisterpine Goshen Farm Supporter

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    I use my gray water to water the garden, the trees , raspberries and strawberrys I do not filter it, though i have thought about doing so- with our winters it just has not been practical yet. Never had any problems, use biodegradable soap and such. Plants look healthy and taste great.
     

  3. Pony

    Pony STILL not Alice Supporter

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    We are in the process of planning/installing a roof rainwater catchment system. (A friend gifted us with two food grade barrels!)

    Haven't gotten to the grey water yet, but here are some sites that have LOADS of info:

    http://tinyurl.com/q2a7e
    http://www.oasisdesign.net/greywater/

    Also, there's a lot of info here on HT; just type "grey water" into the search function. :)

    My understanding is that most grey water (shower/laundry) has to be filtered through sand/dirt and/or rocks. I do know some folks who just use it "as is" and say there are no ill effects.

    Water from the toilet and dishes is considered "black" water (dish water because of the possible grease in it). But my MIL tosses the dishwater on her garden and things seem okay. :shrug:

    You might also consider a sawdust toilet if you want to conserve water:

    http://www.jenkinspublishing.com/humanure.html

    Lots of info on the site, and you can d/l the entire handbook for free!

    Good luck!

    Pony!
     
  4. CountryMamaof5

    CountryMamaof5 Well-Known Member

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    What kind of soap do you use?
     
  5. CountryMamaof5

    CountryMamaof5 Well-Known Member

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  6. Tabitha

    Tabitha greenheart

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    I can not use the water from the washing machine, it goes into a septic tank, but the dishwashing water goes on the flowerbeds and the fruittrees.
     
  7. patnewmex

    patnewmex Jane of all trades

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    We use the graywater from the washing machine (that uses high efficiency soap, low sudsing, etc.) and the water from the kitchen sink. I wash dishes by hand so just regular liquid soap there. It currently is not filtered and it goes onto our garden and trees.

    There is a man that is "The" graywater guy. Look this up...

    http://www.oasisdesign.net/greywater/misinfo/

    He has two books which are considered the bible of graywater. Lots of info is available free on his website, listed above. Not filtered and immediate use is best. Read up on his website.

    Pat
     
  8. tuvold

    tuvold Well-Known Member

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    Hey,

    When we were kids my Grandma's house had a grey water system, sinks and tub. It was piped down the property from the house about 50 yards and emptied out in to an open trench. The trench ran past the garden area so we had a built in irrigation system.

    Never had any problems with it and the garden vegetables apreciated it. The kids learned that that part of the land was always muddy and never played around it.

    The house was built in 1847. Our family moved in 1957 and moved out in 1980.

    My 2 coppers,

    tuvold
     
  9. mistletoad

    mistletoad Well-Known Member Supporter

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    When we first moved in we didn't plumb in the dishwasher properly (that whole part of the kitchen needed work and I didn't want to do it twice) so we ran the discharge hose to a 5 gal bucket and used that (mixed half and half with fresh water) to water the plants. We did the same with our old washing machine (new one is too quick to try and suck the water back up). The only drawbacks were switching buckets and waiting for the water to cool down.
     
  10. anniew

    anniew keep it simple and honest Supporter

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    One year many years ago, I was living with my parents in a bedroom community to the Big Apple. There was a bad drought and strict water restrictions, so we had a friend replumb it so that all water except the toilet could be turned on or off to go to a 55 gallon barrel instead of the sewer system. Usually we used everything except the "wash water" of the washing machine, including all the rinse water, the bathtub water and any sink water (including the kitchen sink). We had a lovely garden, the best I've ever had and used grass clippings as mulch so it looked like the perfect garden...no weeds, but loads of veggies.
    From the barrel in the basement, we pumped it up to 55 gallon barrels outside the house (with a small Little Giant pump) which were also filled with rainwater from the roof. From these barrels, the garden was watered using gravity as it was slightly downhill from the barrels.
    Ann
     
  11. ET1 SS

    ET1 SS zone 5 - riverfrontage Supporter

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    Our grey-water and black-water are two seperate systems. the grey-water goes out to water the Ginseng and fiddleheads.
     
  12. CountryMamaof5

    CountryMamaof5 Well-Known Member

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    Does any "authorities" have to give permission for this kind of stuff? Like DEQ or anything?
     
  13. ET1 SS

    ET1 SS zone 5 - riverfrontage Supporter

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    I dont know what a DEQ is, but health codes focus on how you handle the Black-water, not grey-water.
     
  14. deb

    deb Well-Known Member

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    Keep in mind that rules vary by state.

    In the state of Wisconsin, any water that leaves the interior of a house is considered black water and has to go through an approved septic/sewer system. So if you are building/remodeling a WI house, you'll have to plumb all drains as black water in order to pass inspection and then retrofit after occupancy.

    -deb
    in wi
     
  15. CountryMamaof5

    CountryMamaof5 Well-Known Member

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    DEQ is department of enviromental quality..

    They get into everyones business around here in Michigan.
     
  16. ponyboy123

    ponyboy123 Well-Known Member

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    A few years back, I was visiting Japan. Public washrooms in some cities had the hand washing sink mounted directly on top of the toilet. Made good use of grey water to flush.
     
  17. rambler

    rambler Well-Known Member Supporter

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    It depends on your state. Minnesota requires all water go to the septic.

    --->Paul
     
  18. ChickenMom

    ChickenMom Well-Known Member

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    We have 2 houses on our property and the toilets are the only thing that go into the septic tank. Our kitchen sink water goes out a field line and the ducks, dogs, chickens, turkeys, and guineas make use of it. The other sinks and shower (in one house) go to water plants, trees, etc. Our shower and bath water is in a holding tank for big water project needs.
     
  19. mightybooboo

    mightybooboo Well-Known Member

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    We lived in a house with black water to septic,all else went out a pipe to the citrus trees.They did well.

    Yep,laws vary widely.I will hook up as per legally required,but have diversion valves installed after inspection and not waste that grey water.

    BooBoo
     
  20. ET1 SS

    ET1 SS zone 5 - riverfrontage Supporter

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    On our Motorhome, we have mulitiple seperate tanks, a potable water tank, a grey-water tank, a black-water tank. Moving among other MH'ers, it is not uncommon to dump the grey-water anywhere [alongside the road, in a campground anywhere], but the black-water needs to be dumped in a septic system, or in field on private land where it is not producing food crops. This is pretty much the excepted norm among MH'ers that we have encountered.

    :)