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Home > Natural Resources > Water Strategies to Preserve Natural Resource Supplies and Quality

Greywater Solutions for Your Building

Local greywater system technologies reduce water costs

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California water conservation

Domestic Wastewater Treatment for On-Site Recycling

The concept I would recommend, putting all incumberances aside, would be to capture all of the domestic wastewater from a building, highly treat it on site with one of the many technologies we have today, and recycle all we can back into the building for non-potable uses like toilets, urinals, landscape watering, car washing, and perhaps even laundry. This concept avoids all the collection and redistribution costs associated with central systems. And, if there is a need for any off-site discharge, it will be minimial, and will be equally highly treated. Larry Stephens, P.E. - Stephens Consulting Services, P.C.

Greywater Technologies

Greywater is defined as the wastewater from baths, showers, laundry and lavatory sinks. It does not include sewage -- that is considered "blackwater".

Evapotranspiration (ET) System

The processes of evaporation and transpiration from plants through their leaves makes it possible to use and dispose of wastewater. A typical evapotranspiration system consists of a septic tank for pre-treatment (removal of solids) followed by distribution into a shallow sand bed covered with vegetation.

Shallow Trench

Greywater flows from the house through pre-treatment and is piped into shallow trenches (pipe placed 8 inches deep). These pipes are placed close enough to the surface to feed the plant roots.

Shallow Mound

An elevated absorption field is used for disposal of wastewater. For irrigation, a shallow layer of sand fill and top soil is placed over existing soil.

Pressure Effluent Dosing and Drip Irrigation

Low pressure effluent dosing is an option to gravity distribution. Although more maintenance is required, this type of greywater system is the most common. It can overcome many site limitations such as shallow soils, high ground water, excessive slopes, and uphill drainfields. Low pressure dosing uses a pump to distribute greywater through perforated pipes in the absorption bed. This modification is applicable to ET, shallow trench, shallow mound, and sub-surface drip irrigation systems. The greywater flows from the house through pre-treatment and is pumped into absorption alternatives.

SOURCE & MORE INFORMATION: Greenbuilder.com

PROBLEM: Reclaiming "gently used water" that is mixed with sewage is expensive.

SOLUTION: On-site greywater processing reduces transport of massive amounts of water and improves local responsibility for water use, quality and reuse.



Edited by Carolyn Allen, owner/editor of California Green Solutions
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