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Systems for reusing household greywater


hausdok
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The average family of four uses 400 gallons of water per day? Hogwash. What are they doing, watering the grass while taking showers before washing all their cars every day? Please.

I have a couple of thin books on grey water systems, and they aren't that easy to find. I recently saw an ad for a new, simplified system that used a PVC tank, buried in the ground and half-filled with gravel. One of these days....but first I want my geothermal HVAC system.

I think greywater recovery will be standard in the future. It'll have to be if the world population doesn't stop rising.

Brian G.

Waste Not, Want Not [:-thumbu]

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Greywater recovery is alive and well in Florida. Our barrier island condominiums receive greywater for all exterior uses. The plants love it. One problem. Where an area has a large community of "snow birds" there is not enough greywater at certain times of the year due to a lack of input.

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One is astounded as to just how much water they use, if they take the time to think about all of it, and approximate their usage through several days.

400 gpd is very realizable.

Equally astounding are areas lacking water supplies that don't have cisterns to collect rainwater for gardening & utility use.

Heck, everyone in the USVI lives on top of their cistern; what looks like a bsmt. to us (when it's getting built) is their total water supply. Some folks have figured it out, because they had to.

Pretty much the entire way we think about water resource management is completely ham headed.

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Hi John,

Are those systems down there set up so that only some of the fixtures supply the greywater, as in the article? Do they make any effort to capture the rain? Yeah, I heard that there wasn't a whole lot of rain this year, but how about those years when there is?

I guess I never realized how much the snowbirds impact Florida. My parents have both moved down there. My father is in Palm Coast and my mom lives in Duneeden (sic). My mother and a couple of her sisters moved down there and live within a few miles of each other. My dad and stepmother do the snowbird thing.

Here's his summer project back up in New York - a new picket fence. Over 80, and he was out there in 100+ degree heat putting up that fence on his own (He built the house himself 3 years ago - its a modular that came as a shell with the insulation and rock in. It's for sale if anyone is interested.).

Talk about stubborn! My stepmother says that he did a good job and the townsfolk like it so much that they're driving by in the evening to look at it. Small town - 1100 people - something like a new fence is kind of a big deal.

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I did this one the other day that collected all the rainwater into a cistern under the garage.

The cistern was under the complete two car garage.

A concrete block wall split the cistern in half from side to side.

All the rainwater went into the rear half and filtered thru the concrete block wall into the front half where the pump system picked it up and delivered it to the pressure tank/water system.

BUT, the greywater just went down over the hill.

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The white pipe in the third photo is the gutter dump from the front of the house/garage into the rear half of the cistern.

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I see a bit of cisterns but this is the first one I've seen that used a concrete block wall as the filter!!

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Originally posted by hausdok

Hi John,

Are those systems down there set up so that only some of the fixtures supply the greywater, as in the article? Do they make any effort to capture the rain? Yeah, I heard that there wasn't a whole lot of rain this year, but how about those years when there is?

Our buildings do not capture rain water. The local sewage plant and all the buildings have dual piping so that the local facility can pump water back to the building in the correct pipe. (I hope) I would think it would not be economical to try to capture rain water for a 120 unit condo. First we are built on sand and second, we do not have sufficient area to build a retention facility. The footings for hi rise condo units are too deep to allow for a water retention pit under the building. It could also be easily contaminated with sea water. In florida you dig two feet and hit water. It is a good idea though.

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Point of information: The Commonwealth of Massachusetts figures each resident uses about 55 gallons of water a day. But that number has been around as long as I can remember. I imagine that all of the low use fixtures now in use, it's something less than that. 100 gallons per person seems unrealistic to me. That's a whole lot of water.

PS Brian I owe you a phone call...

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  • 3 weeks later...

My water bill came today, and for the first time I really looked at the numbers. My daughter and son-in-law are also on our meter down in the old 12 x 60, so it's 4 adults and a 9 year old (and 2 dogs). We average 330 gallons a day, which breaks down to about 66 gallons each (dogs not included). That's more than I would have guessed, but still well shy of the 100 gallons per head claimed in the article.

Brian G.

Don't Water the Grass; It'll Only Make It Grow [:-crazy]

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