Grey water reuse?

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & ' started by linedog, Feb 23, 2006.

  1. linedog

    linedog New Member

    Messages:
    3
    My wife wants to start reusing our greywater from the bathroom sinks and showers. She wants to use this to flush the toilets, she saw a system on the web somewhere. Is it ok to use it and is it worth the trouble? Thanks and this is a great site I wish I found it sooner.
  2. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,292
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    gray water

    You can't just "start using gray water". The drain system has to be setup to divert that water to a holding tank, and then a pump installed to supply it to the toilets through a separate set of pipes. None of this is in place, or easy to install, in most homes.
  3. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

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    7,308
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    I wonder if it's even legal!
  4. linedog

    linedog New Member

    Messages:
    3
    We were looking at puting it in a new house we are building. So that way it could be plumbed from the start. Good question I don't know if it's legal or not.
  5. grey water is a waste of time

    that is a total waste of time and certanly moe trouble
    what it would ever be worth...


    do you really want to be going to the bathroom
    looking down at rather foul smelly water in your toilet bowl??

    I doubt that guests would find it appealing


    Heres a better idea...

    Instead of grey water , why not install a 2000gal systern in the
    back yard and collect rainwater off of your roof
    and pump that to all the toilets???

    that was done 100 years ago and worked fine..

    and it would actually work like a back up reserve of water
    in case of emergency too.......
  6. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,820
    Location:
    New England
    If you make your cistern big enough, you could use it to water the lawn, too. Course, if you lived in a place like Tucson, AZ, you probably wouldn't get enough rain to do anything.
  7. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,292
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    gray water

    As long as the two systems are isolated, it is. Catalina Island uses ocean water for toilet flushing. In the dark you can see the sparkles from the tiny sea creatures.
  8. Seems like a lot of trouble

    My dog drinks from the toilet bowl...
    drinking sea-water would probably make him sick..

    drinking grey water might be bad on him too

    --------------------------------------------------------------------

    I cant immagine having to pipe two water systems into a home
    from the city

    the municiple water comapny and the TAX expence to pipe two
    water systems throughout a city....thats just got to be a big
    expence.... that very few communities would never pay for.....

    plus the possibility of cross connnections?
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------


    unless you are in the desert, it would seem cheaper to either just
    dig a shallow well or dig a systern...

    or -----if you are really a nut,
    install a tank at the end of your septic finger system
    and pipe that filtered water back into the house to flush
    your toilets......now thats really stretching your water-----


    the large cost simply outweighs the advantages
    if their are any....to any of these pipe dreams......
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2006
  9. I would hate lay a pile of #2's into the toilet and wander if the splash-up from the water in the bowl would be safe. Now imagine gray water sitting in a tank fermenting till the next flush. We all know how mold growth is common in tanks already. I can imagine what the harm could be.

    I would be more inclined to use groundwater collected from a sump pump in my basement if I didn't have any neighbors or tobacco fields close by. Less of a chance of harm being done but I'll stick to treated water. Can't save the world or on the bill enough to justify a system that can do the proper treatment before introducing it back into use for humans.
  10. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,308
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    I think there are probably lots of other ways to save the earth than using gray water in the potty.
  11. demark

    demark New Member

    Messages:
    6
    LEED would tend to disagree with you as this is precisely specified in one of the WE Credits.
  12. SteveW

    SteveW DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,052
    Location:
    Omaha, NE

    Huh???????
  13. demark

    demark New Member

    Messages:
    6
    LEED is a certification that your building meets certain "green building" standards. The certification level is determined by the number of "credits" - the more credits you have, the higher the certification. One of the credits is "Water Efficiency", which includes grey water reuse.
  14. LEE has got to be nuts

    Well if they are giving credits to
    re-use your grey water , it better be a pretty
    BIG, BG credit...or is simply wont be feasable.....



    they gave huge credits out for SOLAR panels
    back inthe 80s to jump start that industry
    and when it all ran out in 1990
    the solar industry went belly up...
  15. Southern Man

    Southern Man DIY Hillbilly

    Messages:
    530
    Location:
    North Carolina
    Here’s a system for re-using sink water to flush a toilet. It claims to save about 10 gallons/ person per day.

    http://www.watersavertech.com/AQUS-Water-Conservation.html

    I have a client that has a failing septic system. The system has been repaired twice before, he's run out of "repair area" and is currently using a leach bed built by one of the best installers in the area. It will take between 50-75% of the water he uses in his 3 bedroom house, and the rest is comes up to the surface. I figure I need to reduce his water use by about 120-160 gallons per day, or come up with another way of disposal.

    Normally I could use two buried single-pass sand filters in series to treat the septic tank effluent, chlorinate, de-chlorinate, aerate, then dump it to a creek. Except the creek is classified as zero-flow so the State won't allow this unless I look at all other possible alternatives.

    Funny rules that we have here- if I separate out grey water and use to water his lawn and shrubs I have to treat it well beyond the simple sand filter scheme above. A multi-pass sand filter won’t do it either. I’m thinking that I’ll have to go off the shelf, high tech. Does anyone have experience with a unit that can do this?
  16. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Messages:
    7,453
    Location:
    Connecticut
    Here is an interesting read from Water & Waste Water News.

    The first case study in the article is the Westbrook Factory Outlet Mall just a few miles down the road from my house. In Westbrook, CT. there is no municipal sewer system. Here they installed a waste treatment system that provides "Recycled" water AKA "Blue Water" to flush all the toilets and urinals in the mall.

    It saves about 13,000,000 gallons a year!

    http://www.wwn-online.com/articles/51364/

    This was the first project of its nature in the State of Connecticut.
  17. Bob NH

    Bob NH In the Trades

    Messages:
    3,317
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    Assume 6 flushes per person at 1.6 gallons per flush = 9.6 gallons per day per person. You can probably get enough from a daily shower to do that, so maybe you save 10 gallons per day per person, 3650 gallons per year. In my community the cost of water and sewer is about $8 per 1000 gallons, so the saving is about $30 per year per person.

    For a 2-person household you may save $60 per year; $30 to pay the debt service on $300 and $30 to pay for maintenance and operation of the system.

    I am a DIYer and an engineer who would consider such things and have concluded that it is not worth the effort and cost.
  18. Mikey

    Mikey Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek

    Messages:
    2,713
    Location:
    Central Florida
    That's because water doesn't cost enough.

    "Water is not a renewable resource. People have been mining it without restraint because it has not been priced properly." -- Lord Stern, the World Bank's former chief economist.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/money/main.jhtml?xml=/money/2008/06/05/ccwater105.xml
  19. Southern Man

    Southern Man DIY Hillbilly

    Messages:
    530
    Location:
    North Carolina
    By itself it surely ain't. And the AQUS system does not appear to be legal under the ICC Plumbing Code, Appendix C.
  20. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Messages:
    7,453
    Location:
    Connecticut
    At the mall project I cited above you would not know it was "recyled" except all the toilets and urinals flushed with "Smurf Water",,,

    No junk floating in it.
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