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edmundp

Grey Water System

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Hi All,

Do any of you perhaps have some experience with grey water recycling?

I am contemplating making something to recycle basin and bathtub water to irrigate my garden (normal sprayer/s - not micro as what I read says they clog) - sort of a mini system at a drain point with a level activated pump. I will collect water at two points at least.

Problem is that my house was sunk to slightly below ground level - thus the drain pipes comes out level to the foundation on the outside.

There are some ready made solutions out there, but they are horribly expensive.

Any ideas would be appreciated.

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Same problem here, house is sunk.

Only way I could figure it is to dig lower around the drain pipes. Then I lost interest.

So we are catching shower water inside the showers in buckets, and use that for the toilets. Works quite well.

Down to 300l per day for 4 people.

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How about using the American concept of a "sump pump" ? So you essentially have a shallow catchment tank just below the pipe/foundation level (no need to go very deep), and you reconnect the old drain pipe as an overflow (so if the pump isn't running, it simply overflows into the sewage system). Then use a float switch to activate the sump pump and pump to another tank. Then you'd need a third pump to run the irrigation system.

I have a well point, with a 850W "DAB Jetcom" pump that pushes about 2kpa. It's only half of municipal pressure, but it works well enough. I did not have to make any changes to the existing irrigation system.

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Ja - that is what I was thinking. Maybe taking these plastic box type crates that you get at Plastic land and such and modify it accordingly.

They actually sell such a thing locally....... at R7500!!!! That is about 8 months worth of water.

I think for a proof of concept I will just have the pump pump directly to a pyramid type sprayer first.

Fairly small hole to dig and to make it look pro afterwards.

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3 minutes ago, edmundp said:

R7500!!!! That is about 8 months worth of wate

WHAT!!! Water is under R100 on average, per month.

That is really the reason why I lost interest. The savings I would make is negligible.

Tit bit. Allegedly, if everyone does this, the sewage system will not working properly for it needs more water to operate than just the toilet flush.

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7 minutes ago, The Terrible Triplett said:

WHAT!!! Water is under R100 on average, per month.

That is really the reason why I lost interest. The savings I would make is negligible.

Tit bit. Allegedly, if everyone does this, the sewage system will not working properly for it needs more water to operate than just the toilet flush.

Bearing in mind I have 8 people in the house.... and a swimming pool and a 800m2 garden.... hence the effort.

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I'm also investigating ways to make use of grey water. I have an old house on a large property that I am in the process of renovating. I spend a small fortune on water to irrigate the garden.

I've fixed up both bathrooms already. As part of their renovations I've split the main sewerage line into two. One carrying all the back water and the other all the grey water. These two lines merge quite some distance from the house just before they exit the property.  My plan was to cut the grey water line and put in a "sump" with pump and level switch. The sump would be below ground.  That pump would pump the grey water out into a small jojo tank.

I've also split the main water supply line at the point where it comes into the property into two separate lines. The one goes directly to the house (drinking water), the other one is for irrigation only. The irrigation main line runs in a loop around the property. All the irrigation valves/zones are fed from this one line. The irrigation line has a non-return valve and a valve just after the split from the main line. This is to prevent irrigation water from flowing back into the drinking water line. Also, to be able to isolate the irrigation line if I need to.

My plan is to use the valve to isolate the irrigation line and then use a second pump to pump the grey water into the irrigation line from the jojo tank. It should be easy enough to just cut into the irrigation line and and hookup the pump. I'll use a relay that's triggered by the irrigation controller to start the pump. I'll also install a simple ball valve in the jojo tank to ensure that if there is not enough grey water it will top up using drinking water, thereby preventing the pump from running dry.

But... What I've been able to gather is that you have to do some kind of filtering of the grey water before you can put it though a pump. Shower/bath water contain hair that can clog up the impeller of the pumps. It also contains beard stubble/shavings that will nicely clog up your irrigation nozzles.

I have a couple of old cast iron enamel baths that came out of the old bathrooms. So I'm thinking of filling one with a combination of gravel, sand and landscaping cloth to make my own filter. The cloth will be on top and between the layer of sand and gravel. Hopefully the top cloth will catch most of the solids and should be easy enough to clean. Fortunately for me both bathrooms' floor level is about 50cm higher than the ground level outside the house. I would be able to reroute the PVC drain pipes of the baths, showers and basins to empty into the bath/filter outside. Then connect the bath/filter drain back into the grey water sewage line via an existing gully trap. From there the grey water will flow to the "sump" and then pumped up into the jojo tank.

I've not done this yet so I don't know how well it will work...

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The big trick for using grey water is that you DON'T want it to stand. It becomes smelly very quickly.

My shower, washing machine and bathroom basins flow into a 100l tank. You could even get away with a 50l tank (No need to dig a big hole) Then I have this:

http://www.dabpumps.co.za/web_network/southafrica/en/page_471.php?serie=352&linea=68&language=en&minisito=13

It is linked to an ordinary garden hose with a "Skilpad spuitjie" at the end. It switches on and off by itself based on the water level in the tank.  In summer we move it once a day, rotating it through a section of the garden over 3 days.  I have disconnected the automatic sprinklers from this section of the garden.

PS - Make sure you are aware when somebody is in the shower or the wife is doing laundry.....

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43 minutes ago, Janma said:

I've also split the main water supply line at the point where it comes into the property into two separate lines.

Mine was exactly the same. Previous owner decided to put the irrigation valves right there where the water comes into the property. So I made up a manifold with the irrigation valves and a good old valve on either end. The idea is that you close the one end and open the other one, it is only really there to allow for irrigation with municipal water if the need arrises. Not idiot proof, if someone opens both, the most likely result would be municipal water running into my well.

Since I made the modification in 2012, I haven't used municipal water for irrigation yet. In winter everything is soaked by the rain, and in summer we usually get by with the well water. This year the water level did drop quite sharply and towards the end of March there wasn't really enough to keep the garden happy... but due to our water issue in Cape Town, I ignored the wife and just used whatever water was available... explaining that at R50/kl it's just not going to happen. :-)

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The sump pump I am planning on using has a built in coarse filter to stop impellar block. The rest will just go straight to the garden automatically.

Great ideas here!!

Sent from my SM-N900 using Tapatalk

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DIY: Get one, or two of those blue drums for R200 (side of the road) that's used to transport soap in, burry it on it's side, just below the drain pipe, install a sump pump with automatic switch, to pump out to a 1000L flowbin (can be had for R500/R600). Connect a small pressure pump to it and connect to sprayers (not microjets) My dad used to fill 2x 1000L tanks while doing washing, and empty it on the lawn in the same day! He had a swimming pool filter connected to it to catch some of the junk in the water and helped to stop  blocking up the sprayers. Altogether it should cost about R1800-R2000. And you would save /  reuse a HELL of a lot water this way. 

 

Alternatively, dig a "trench" and run the water to a pond with, but let the water run through a self built "gravel filter" - some buckets with stones / gravel and some sponge / mesh to catch bigger "stuff" coming from the washing machine. 

Look here: http://gardening.stackexchange.com/questions/8598/can-my-diy-grey-water-bio-filter-system-be-improved

http://www.homehandyman.co.za/#!grey-water-system/clw5

 

 

 

If you REALLY want to, build a "RAM PUMP" to pump the water for free. 

 

http://buildarampump.com/?attachment_id=62

 

Some nice fun weekend projects ;)

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Well I tried this last year and the results weren't too bad - excepting for the basic filter to remove course solids got blocked monthly and the bigger problem

I had was finding a pump - I eventually went with a diaphragm pump of around 300 watts and I had enough pressure to run 6 pole mounted nozzles to spray the lawn.

The problem I kept running into was that after about 3 months the pump would suddenly start drawing 3kw and then the heat cutout would kick in - then a few minutes later it would sparky again for 60 seconds and the same would occur.

After replacing the pump with the same make and type and found thru the process again. I decided to rather focus on rainwater harvesting and bypass the grey water back to the sewer, at least we are getting rain now.

I had a speck .75kw pump and sand filter plus almost knackered porta pool 6m X 1m that was empty and diverted the gutters for a trial run.

It worked very well and I can't believe how quickly it fills up to almost 30 kl.

The pool pump has been a charm and has enough pressure to run the same itrigation as before and a sprinkler on a hose - Gardena type.

My only problem now is I have not been able to find a 30 kl jojo for around R3.5k ? And one small enough to fit on the 550sqm stand without taking up too much space. Had considered a buried option but price is a killer.

Am still interested in find a grey water pump that will last, let me know if you are able to

Find something cheap and durable.

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I have a much simpler system where the bath, shower and washing machine water just run into a normal 20mm hose pipe and run out wherever I place the other end. There is a bit of a slope which helps. I just move the hose from fruit tree to fruit tree every few days and the lawn looks after itself. I have a valve on the outlet which I can close to send the water down the hose or not.

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1 hour ago, DeepBass9 said:

I have a much simpler system where the bath, shower and washing machine water just run into a normal 20mm hose pipe and run out wherever I place the other end. There is a bit of a slope which helps. I just move the hose from fruit tree to fruit tree every few days and the lawn looks after itself. I have a valve on the outlet which I can close to send the water down the hose or not.

I wish I could do that but it doesn't help on a flat piece of land. 

I'm going to install a greywater system in summer and will see what pumps I can get for this purpose. Part of my goal is to run it off solar. so it should either small enough not to drain the batteries too much, or wait till the sun shines. 

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This is a bit late to the party but there is a system called http://www.saniflo.co.za/ it looked promising but I am not too sure about pricing. Also a option to "filter" the solids is to use a settling tank system where you have two or three tanks flowing into each other and and where the solids will settle in the first tank. One should be able to maybe use the solid for compost but i am not sure.

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So my grey water harvesting is really simple, Im almost embarrassed to share it!

I got some 25mm black light gauge irrigation pipe and connected it to the waste hose on the back of my washing machine, it then runs out the house to a 50 litre above ground drum (read rubbish bin) 

When the washing machine runs it fills the 50 litre drum to the brim.

I then removed my little water feature pump from the water feature and connected a hose pipe to it and dropped it into the drum, no fancy float switches or high volume high pressure pumps. 

When I get home in the evening I turn the little pump on and it pumps water out of the drum through the hosepipe and I water the garden manually, it takes some time to get through the 50 litre drum but it works well.

Total cost was around R100 for the irrigation pipe, all the other items I had already.

Use the grey water within 24 hours or it will start to stink!

Simple but effective.

 

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