Residential Grey Water Systems for Home UseGreywater systems specifically designed for reusing greywater in landscape irrigation.
When deciding what type of greywater recycling system to use for your home, the following four topics must be addressed:
What is Greywater?
Residential greywater usually comes from the following three sources: 1) Laundry 2) Sink 3) Shower. Alternatively, blackwater is household wastewater that contains serious contaminants, and should never be diverted from the sewer line. It usually comes from these three sources: 1) toilets 2) Dishwasher 3) Sinks with food waste disposers.
Above: Flotender Residential Greywater System. Click image to learn more.
Reusing Greywater in Drip Irrigation
“One of the most efficient watering systems is drip or trickle irrigation. It takes effort to set up initially, but in the long run it saves time and reduces water use. It can be designed to accommodate any garden size or style and can also be used for container plants. Water is delivered directly where needed through emitters at the end of water tubes. Little water is lost to evaporation or wasted on areas between plants.”
Since most all-residential greywater systems will be used to irrigate the plants in your landscape, you will need to avoid putting anything down the drain that may harm plants, animals, groundwater tables, and adjacent waterways. Avoid using soaps and detergents that contain bleach, boron, phosphates and sodium salts. Mature plantings will accept and thrive with practically any amount of soap in the water, but new plantings and food crops should be avoided. Most households will need to change very little in their daily routine to ensure that they are producing safe greywater for their residential greywater system. In the ideal world one would never use any product that contains these harmful chemicals. However, if you have dedicated drains in your home for the greywater and blackwater, than you can choose which drains will be used for certain chemicals. For a list of safe cleansers to use for your greywater system check out the United States Environmental Protection Agency web site http://www.epa.gov/dfeprojects/formulat/formpartc.htm#consumerclean
One option would be to simply tie your greywater system into two showers and your washing machine. Use environmentally safe soaps, cleansers and laundry detergent for these areas only. The average washing machine uses 25 gallons of water per load. The average ten-minute shower also uses 25 gallons of water. An average two person household takes ten showers and does two loads of laundry per week, totaling 300 gallons of water each week, or 15,600 gallons per year. 300 gallons of water each week, every week of the year, would allow you to drip irrigate 100 plants for 60 minutes, two times a week. It has long been known that plants do much better with long, infrequent watering as opposed to short, frequent watering. Watering thoroughly mainly encourages deep root growth, which will create a healthy plant that will become more drought-tolerant, requiring less water during its life span.
It is important to have a residential greywater system that is virtually maintenance free with the exception of cleaning the filter periodically. A completely automated system is a great choice as well. With the Flotender Greywater System, greywater flows from the source down to a surge tank. As soon as the water reaches a determined level in the tank, the pressure pump is activated and sends the filtered greywater out to the drip emitters in the landscape. When the water level drops in the tank, the pump automatically turns itself off, until additional water is introduced into the system. Any extra greywater entering the tank would be sent to an overflow port where it would be directed out to the sewer line.
Choose a System Designed for Your Specific Application