Planter box graywater system

The International Compost Sanitation Forum and Message Board: Humanure Handbook - A Guide to Composting Human Manure: Planter box graywater system
Author: TCLynx (Tclynx)
Monday, August 06, 2007 - 11:15 am
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Just a note about gray water, if you keep it in a container for more than perhaps a day, it becomes nasty smelling black water. Having a settling tank (which in a way is much the same as a septic tank) may defeat the purpose of having a gray water system. I have heard of people using surge tanks for gray water systems to catch say the water from the laundry quickly and then let it drain into the hose for the mulch pit around trees. The surge tank allows the water time to cool and then slowly drain out the smaller hose but doesn't store it long enough for it to become septic.

Author: Joe Jenkins (Joe)
Sunday, August 05, 2007 - 2:36 pm
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I have considered a 55 gallon plastic drum in the basement for graywater. The drum would drain out the top into a 2nd drum, then outside into a gravel trench or something. In the meantime, the sediment would collect in the first drum and be occasionally removed via a lower valve draining into a bucket. The sediment would then go into the compost pile. I don't have a basement yet, so I haven't been able to try this idea.

Author: Marie Sullivan (Msister3)
Monday, July 30, 2007 - 12:40 pm
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Thanks for the additional link. Have been on it a few times. Glad to be directed back to it though. I would like to pose another question. Given the VERY limited amount of water that I will be using. Any thoughts on doing a planter box system within my home. I am guessing that the Health Department would have less/no input in a system that was fully enclosed in my home, with no drainage to the outside. Again, really trying to do (what I think is the right thing) but be prepared for questions/concerns that may be expressed. I am guessing that my total daily usage would be 5 - 7 gallons.

Author: Joe Jenkins (Joe)
Monday, July 23, 2007 - 12:34 pm
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Have you tried https://greywater.com?

Author: Marie Sullivan (Msister3)
Wednesday, July 18, 2007 - 10:49 am
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Thank you, Patrick, for the information. Wonderful website reference.

Author: Patrick (Pcinca)
Tuesday, July 17, 2007 - 4:10 pm
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Marie, congrats on your installation of a humanure toilet and wanting to deal with the graywater in a safe, ecologically, sound manner!

A good resource for graywater and effluent is at:

https://www.oceanarks.org/

This is the research group that the famous biologist John Todd set up many years ago and their focus was all things in sustanable and environmentally friendly methods, but with special attention to sewage mitigation.

They have perfected many systems from tiny, small, to large municipal systems and they are of the opinion that it is just as important to treat graywater as it is to treat sewage. Running graywater directly into the environment without first cleansing it is not a viable or sound option, so they have created a bio-cleansing apparatus they call eco-machines or green machines. They can be as small as a barrel or as big as a created wetland- the volumn dictates the size.

There are many other resources on effluent mitigation. You can google "ecological effluent mitigation" as an example and get many good info links.

Todd's wife Nancy, has written a good book with diagrams, etc. and they have many more listed at the above website url.

Author: Marie Sullivan (Msister3)
Tuesday, July 17, 2007 - 12:41 pm
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I have read and reread the Humanure Handbook many times. (Joe, you're my hero!) Preparing to "install" my own very soon. Encountered no problems with my county Health Department regarding it. His response..."I don't care what you do with it as long as it doesn't harm the environment." Great! He then continued to inform me that I still had to deal with my graywater. Again we agree, so I am really happy at this point. Now the downside. He said that any graywater system I propose to use must be developed by an engineer.
My question is...Is anyone aware of graywater treatment systems (small planter box) plans that are available online that I may use? Must obviously have the "credentials" attached to it to satisfy my health department. I am preparing to build a very small (200 to max of 400 sf) house, single occupant, no laundry, no kitchen, and a very small shower.

Any thoughts and/or suggestions are greatly appreciated.

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