Inspired by this posting by bucheron and ideas shared by daltxguy in response to last blog on greywater, I spent some time this morning looking at options re: filtering the grey water coming from the shower.
Initially I was just using a watering can to transport the water to the thirsty plants. Then I added a dripline system but we haven’t used it because of the realization that the lines would be clogged up from the dirty water. There has been lots of options tossed around: some are too extensive for my gardens that have already been established; some are too labour-intensive to drag Rick into helping with.
“But” the ideas keep flowing and I keep surfing the net to find something that would work for me.
I found this site today ( http://ecoexist.net/archives/61 ) which uses a bucket, some gravel/sand and the duel-filters for a koi pond. It looks effective, efficient, and easily set-up and maintained.
I now have two options high on my possibilities list.
1. A simple bucket filtration, entering into a rain barrel, and leading into the dripline system.
I wasn’t sure how fast the water would drain out of the barrel in comparison to entering it and so I thought the rainbarrel step would be a good idea. If I added rocks and sand to the rainbarrel, as well, I would have a double filtration system and water could be stored for “a good soaking” every other day rather than a quick drink on a daily basis.
2. A marshland: the bucket filtration enters into a partly submerged holding tank that contains gravel and sand … and plants. The plants would be an additional source of filtration plus it would look intriguing in my yard.
Because I am using gravity to force the water through the above-ground driplines, the pipe exiting the marshland would have to be above ground. Partly submerging this holding tank would enable me to create an aesthetically pleasing environment around it.
My concern is the water sitting below the drainpipe. Would it become too stagnant? Would the roots of the plants take care of that issue? If the drainpipe of the filtration bucket is dropped to the bottom of this second storage unit, would the waterflow naturally move the water to eliminate possibilities of stagnation? This is where my mind comes to the end of its scientific knowledge and I rely on my friends to help me out.
I also have to consider the winter months. What do I do about freezing? The predicted frostline in our area is 3-4 feet deep. Do I need to keep the bottom of the storage area this deep? (I won’t be collecting the greywater during the winter months.)
Thoughts? Options? Cautions? Devil’s Advocate?
-- - Debbie, SW Ontario Canada (USDA Hardiness Zone: 5a)