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Home Forums General Discussion Grey water handling

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    I’m really confused to the issue of how to deal with grey water. I have the Humanure book, so I understand what to do with a very basic disposal of sewage, but the rest of water disposal is hard to figure out. Just digging a pit away from the living area of the property and throwing out the water is probably too hillbilly. I am not in the position financially to buy an expensive system to handle grey water or have septic installed. So any experienced information here would be helpful and I would be very grateful. Thanks.


    I wonder what you mean by “grey water”. If it is rainwater runoff, or had biodegradable soap in it, then it can soak in the ground anywhere. If it has grease in it, then it needs a septic tank with the bacterial breakdown. As far as pee goes, that is biodegradable and can go on the ground too, but in variable locations or it will stink, or a septic tank.


    Urine mixed with wood ash is one of the best fertilizers.. google it and see


    WE built a composting toilet as in Humanure, it works great. Many folks out here in upstate NY have composting toilets. For greywater, get some cheap PVC pipe and funnel the greywater into your garden unless you are rinsing grease…which I doubt that you are. Our dogs and cats get all the grease in a separate container with their food.


    central: wow, I’ll pee on the compost pile from now on.

    Dust: I’ve been told that grease stops up septic systems.

    witch: you would need to treat grey water as you would any outside water source that is being treated, meaning filtered and or purified. If you buy the earthship books, they show you how to make an inside planter filter. You can even pump filtered water from the bottom of it. I will be posting an article on my blog soon on water treatment, purification and filtration.

    If you pass grey water through an RO filter system you can receive half back as pure clean water. Note that you still want to purify water after this process with iodine, chlorine or by passing it through a ceramic filer with coloidal silver. The reason is that some bacterias can build up on the product water side of the RO Filter. Note that model on the diyreverseosmosis site its 50% efficient at 70psi, meaning for each gallon you run through it you get 1/2 gallon clean water. Also note that you still end up with grey water after this process, its the 1/2 gallon that didn’t filter. It is concentrated grey water. This could still be sent to a planter/sand filter or distilled in a solar stil. A 8’x4′ solar still can get you 1.5 gallons of distilled water per day in summer.

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