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Article: Grey Water: What is it and how to use it: Thanks for addressing this important topic

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Forum: Article: Grey Water: What is it and how to use itReplies: 5, Views: 40
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Decatur, GA
(Zone 7b)

August 29, 2012
7:29 AM

Post #9258045

Thanks so much for addressing an important topic. Water is a more and more precious comodity and, as such, it's great when we can use it wisely, meaning don't waste it but adhear to the safety cautions you have researched and discussed. I appreciate the care with which you present your topics in all or your articles.

Below is a link to a 3 way diverter valve which allows you to run shower or laundry water to a drain line you would have to add to the outside. The valve allows you to run drain water to either sewer or landscape.

Also, if your washing machine is on or near an exterior wall you can add a drain line to the outside and move the drain hose hook from the machine between the two drain options.

Thanks again
(Debra) Derby, KS
(Zone 6a)

August 29, 2012
10:02 PM

Post #9258972

It would cost 2800 here for me in Derby, kansas to get a real have to get a legal one with a permit... I capture gray water for all areas and store it in containers with a dab of clorox and add some MG fert for blooming plants. Some times I will add peroxide, and tea tree oil. I also spray with a bottle all the plants with gray water and windex, and miracle grow. it seems to keep bugs away. we do not use a dishwasher, we use tubs now. we use it to flush toilets, as well as water plants and the grass. I don't understand why ,when we are in a drought , the cities don't use a system to capture all gray water for all house holds to irrigate with. It is crazy the waste of water. You would be surprised at how green and healthy my place is compared to people who don't water at all for fear of the water bill. we use no phosphate soaps. My maples, Fir and pear trees love it.
laundry water goes out the back door via a hose. If I have to get a liscense and a expensive system, I will just use my own methods and get some excersize. So glad you brought this article up. One person I know captures their bath sink water ( teeth brushing wasted water) and he uses that to go into a tank that fills his toilets. I can't get my A/C condensation with the way it is set up,( in the basement into a drain) but I get my work place condenstion by the gallons, and everyone there thinks I am nuts collecting their plastic bottles to fill and the water drips into flat clean plastic oil pans, then dump into clean 30 gal tubs. I bring home about 5 gallons a night.. .. Good thing, free water .. ( I work at a car dealership)
Decatur, GA
(Zone 7b)

August 30, 2012
7:26 AM

Post #9259151

And all that AC condensation would otherwise have mostly evaporated. What a waste, and that is good clean water.
Way to go, Debra.
Safford, AZ

September 3, 2012
7:28 AM

Post #9263189

I have plenty of grey water available: an air conditioner that makes a mud hole on the side of the house, and all the grey water from the house which currently drains into a grassy area behind the house. I think I'll start by using the air conditioner condensation. I'm not sure I have enough of an irrigated area yet to hand the grey water. As I plan more of my yard maybe I can use the grey water.
Montague, TX

March 10, 2013
4:18 PM

Post #9445086

Kudus Deborah! A legal permit is necessary to prevent waste water from entering the drinking water supply, which is a good thing. And it is expensive just as it is anywhere in Texas to permit a septic system.
Some cities are treating wastewater to be returned to potable supply. Midland Texas I think and I read of somewhere in California.
However it would require a drastic and careful plumbing infrastructure redesign and reconstruction to properly use wastewater as a separate source and supply and the cost would be enormous. And would have to be added to taxes or utility bills. Start thinking about it and you can see a real ball of worms. I would be interested to know if you think you could get just the people in your block to agree on it.

That said, it needs to be done. Good water is only artificially cheap.

During periods of drought (always here) second water should at least be made available for wildlife.

Phosphates going to a sewer, then to a body of water pollute that way by a process called eutrification (sp?) which is over fertilization. I really have a problem with thinking it would pollute a garden or grassland. Or a compost pile. Miracle Grow has phosphates in it. So does all balanced fertilizer. So does food. Too much of anything is harmful in some way.

a/c condensate is indeed a viable source of "free" water, but do you have a rain barrel? Easiest free water you can get.
I am using rainwater (2 1500gal tanks) as my total supply. More than a rain barrel but use of grey water is especially important.

Do not get into a fallout with city fathers. Mostly can't see too good.
Unless you are united with some backers.
(Debra) Derby, KS
(Zone 6a)

March 11, 2013
7:35 PM

Post #9446429

Thank you, I have enlisted several farmers already to convert their systems , since they are not in the city. Our main water supply here is at 60 percent. They are raising water rates here by 200% they say. I have someone who is setting me up with a gray water system, using a sand filter for one barrell and a clean system to drain outside. He is doing this under the radar. I have sent the plans I found online to several outside city dwellers and one couple is using the stair step method for filtering down to their now dry pond. The plumbing for the shower, sink and washer are all pvc with a lead in to the main sewer easily visible from my basement. The condensation tube from our a/c is being re-routed as well. Rain barrels out side are good, if only it would rain, so the barrells will be for gray water instead. Right now, until I get this all done ( in a month or so) I have jugs and jugs of laundry water everywhere, outside under the table keeping cool. Before our big snow, and our one big rain so far this winter, I watered the trees, shrubs and flower beds with the laundry water. We use phosphate free laundry soap. I water the tropicals downstairs with it as well, the kitchen sinks both have deep plastic tubs that get emptied into big ten gallon buckets and we flush the stools with those. There is a plastic sink tub in the pink bathroom where the college girl catches her facial water and uses it to flush her toilet with. Our showers are limited to once a week for us and 5 minutes for the college girl who is struggling with the once a week thing. Hubby and I are in this together, and he even waits for me to be home to do laundry, so I can catch what ever I can. I can't stand to know that my pleas and opinons go unheard on our city paper opinon line, yet every other day there is an article about our water source drying up. And, listen to this, I collect at least 20 half drank bottles of water a day from the trash cans where I work at. Really??? You are going to throw a paid for bottle of water? Geez!!!

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