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Greywater systems

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Greywater systems

Post  Judy McConnell on 9/13/2013, 1:59 pm

At our Riner 2nd home, we have a septic system.  I really hate to run kitchen sink water and laundry water through the holding tank and wasting the greywater during drought conditions.

Virginia has state-wide Health Dept laws that govern greywater systems - but many of these approved systems are $10-15,000 - out of my price range, for certain.

I guess what I really need is a plumber who would put valves or deverters on the sink and washing machine so that water could be saved for garden use.

Any thoughts or have any of you done this kind of thing??

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Re: Greywater systems

Post  RoOsTeR on 9/14/2013, 9:34 am

@Judy McConnell wrote:At our Riner 2nd home, we have a septic system.  I really hate to run kitchen sink water and laundry water through the holding tank and wasting the greywater during drought conditions.

Virginia has state-wide Health Dept laws that govern greywater systems - but many of these approved systems are $10-15,000 - out of my price range, for certain.

I guess what I really need is a plumber who would put valves or deverters on the sink and washing machine so that water could be saved for garden use.

Any thoughts or have any of you done this kind of thing??
As a licensed master plumber with the state of Colorado, I'll give you my .02 Wink 
Your state like many others has put in certain laws and restrictions to not only protect yourself, but the general public. Just because you may be a responsible individual, doesn't mean others are. Proper plumbing protects the general public from disease and all sorts of nasty's. Great strides are being made in the recycling of grey water systems and implementation into the code (most states/jurisdictions follow IPC). I'm guessing some sort of grey water recycling set up will be code in new residential plumbing systems at some point before I retire.
I may be wrong, but from what I'm understanding from your post, collecting grey water is an illegal practice or against the code in your state without the proper (approved) grey water recycling system? If so, you would be looking to hire a plumber to perform work outside the code. There are always those out there that will do work if the price is right, but most (I hope) wouldn't want to risk losing their license.

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Re: Greywater systems

Post  Judy McConnell on 9/14/2013, 10:09 am

You are correct, Rooster, when I went back to read my posting, it did sound like I was trying to "get around the system".

However, I was REALLY looking for someone who had a less expensive greywater "recycling" system that could/would meet VA's code and any other state's code (all are built around the same federal guidelines - I think).

Would have to be tied to one of the two companies that offer high priced systems, if I could avoid it.

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Re: Greywater systems

Post  RoOsTeR on 9/14/2013, 10:39 am

Without getting into the whole money debate and who is in who's pocket, I'm guessing these systems carry the UL listing? Very Happy 
On the receiving end of things (no pun intended) like everything else, some of the unlisted (generally not approved by code) are just fine, and some are garbage. In my line of work, I will say things with the proper listing are generally better quality.


With very little plumbing knowledge, and minimal effort, a fair amount of grey water can be collected depending on how motivated you actually are. Very Happy 

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Re: Greywater systems

Post  sanderson on 9/14/2013, 2:45 pm

My $0.02. Grey water is NOT White water. There are soaps, kitchen and body oils, skin cells and a little bathing poop, moppings of dirts and pesticides (even if YOU don't use pesticides) that are tracked into the house. Restaurants have to have a grease trap on their sewer line. I wouldn't mind using a little kitchen water, sans grease, in the veggie beds, but not body or clothes washings And even then dilute with fresh water. Rule of thumb, if you wouldn't drink it, don't give it to your edible garden. Safe rather than sorry.

Signed, retired Health Inspector

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Re: Greywater systems

Post  Turan on 9/14/2013, 6:40 pm

When I lived in So California I put a plastic garbage can next to the clothes washer and stuck the drain hose in it. Then I used a garden hose to siphon the water out onto the grass. I learned hte hard way not to use borax in my wash (killed an acacia tree). But I would not use that in the garden. Those detergents and bleach and stuff is hard on plants. Grass is tougher.

Water that goes into a septic system is not lost to you. The leach field is always the greenest area of a lawn latest into the summer.

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Re: Greywater systems

Post  Judy McConnell on 9/15/2013, 3:15 pm

Thanks guys - hadn't thought about the pollutants that would enter the sf beds - might not hurt flowers but NOT as good an idea as I had originally thought.

See, this is why I asked here!!!Very Happy

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Re: Greywater systems

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