preparation for greywater

it’s gonna be a while before we have a greywater system installed in the house.  there are a couple reasons for this. (for those unfamiliar with greywater, it’s water that has been used for washing vs. black water which has human feces in it, greywater is generally considered safe for subsurface irrigation, blackwater not so much)

first i’m working on developing rainwater catchment first, as this water will require less processing.  the second is that since we are washing so many diapers, we can’t save greywater from the washer.  i’m still preparing for the future when we stop washing so many shitty diapers.  it’s generally recommended that you don’t use greywater from wash water that is used for diapers as you have much higher chances of contamination with e. coli.

my super kind parents gifted us a new washer and dryer for the kid’s coming into the world.  i ‘m guessing that when my mother visited she was less than impressed with the quality of our washer and dryer.  the new washers is front loader, so it should use less water, another major benefit.

my mother recruited our friend “p” to install the washer and dryer, and he made the recommendation that we consider putting it in a location other that the basement – so we didn’t have to climb so many stairs.  this was good insight from him, and we have this strange little room on the first floor that wasn’t really getting much use – so we decided to use it for a utility room.  one of the advantages of moving the washer from the basement to the first floor was that we could let gravity do the work of getting greywater out of the house instead of having to pump it from the basement.

with that in mind i had this simple valve installed to divert the water from the sewer into a grey water system, but that will be a couple of years, as we have to get this kid out of diapers. you can see the cap where the pipe to the outside will go on the right side.  this also means that once the system is up and running during the winter months we can divert the water into the sewer, and not have to worry about greywater ice blocks.


in the meantime i’m thinking of how we can divert the water from the shower/tub.  but that project will likely have to wait until next summer.  plenty of other projects in the works for this year, and need to research how to set up the grey water once it’s outside.

for those interested in using grey water without doing any plumbing work, you might enjoy this post.

for more info on greywater i recommend the website greywater action as well as the root simple blog

anyone have advice for grey water diversion?


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