A simple greywater system ← Spiral Ridge Permaculture

A simple greywater system 3

Greywater is really a grey area in most settlements.  Simply put it is the water that has no fecal matter in it.  Typically the washer and the kitchen sink are common sources of greywater.  Here on Spiral Ridge we use our greywater to water out tomatoes and this fall we will be planting paw paws to uptake the excess nutrient flow.  There all kinds of great greywater systems out there.  Here is one that we designed to be easy and cheap to install.  Matthew English of Solar Springs Permaculture Farm modified some designs that I had and this what we came up with.  The dishwater flows into a buried rubbermaid container filled with sawdust and biochar.  Microbes predigest large particles and from there the water flows into a 4 inch corrugated drain tile that has small holes its entire length.  This pipe sits in a trench filled with sawdust and wood chips.  The water fills the pipe and then slowly drains into the trench feeding tomatoes, cucumbers and soon a paw paw grove.  That is it. Simple, easy, cheap and effective.  Here are some pictures of the whole system during installation.  Enjoy!Down and Dirty Greywater

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3 thoughts on “A simple greywater system

  1. jeremy c. Nov 8, 2010 8:53 pm

    Nice system! I have a pawpaw/ blueberry berm that is watered by a greywater/rainwater system I designed that has been a lifesaver during this dry summer. Can’t wait for the pawpaws to start coming in! I decided not to plumb my greywater in but instead opted to hand shlep the water (just beyond the kitchen door). The benefits of that were to save money on plumbing (house was built in the 50’s), avoid legal issues, and control the amount of water based on current weather conditions (if its raining a lot- I don’t add greywater). The major drawback is that not all my greywater gets reused.

  2. Scott Plumer Feb 7, 2014 10:20 am

    Interesting. I’ve been kicking this around for a while. We divert the water from our laundry into our yard to avoid filling up our septic tank (we do a lot of laundry with two boys), but right now all it is is a pool hose running out our garage and into the yard. In the winter, it often freezes up and is a pain to clear, so I’m seriously considering doing something like this when it thaws. Why is the trench filled with wood chips & sawdust instead of gravel? It seems like the degradable material would need to be replaced periodically, and would get gunked up faster than gravel.

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