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GRASSROOTS GREYWATER: low tech ~ low cost ~ benign Christina Bertea Greywater Action Greywater Alliance April 9, 2010.

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Presentation on theme: "GRASSROOTS GREYWATER: low tech ~ low cost ~ benign Christina Bertea Greywater Action Greywater Alliance April 9, 2010."— Presentation transcript:

1 GRASSROOTS GREYWATER: low tech ~ low cost ~ benign Christina Bertea Greywater Action Greywater Alliance April 9, 2010

2 TWO “LANDSCAPE DIRECT” SYSTEMS greywater flows directly to the landscape with: NO tanks NO filters NO added pumps NO connection to the potable water supply NO PROBLEMS! LITTLE MAINTENANCE EASY TO LEARN ~ INSTALL AFFORDABLE ($100 - $300 for materials) goal: widespread implementation resulting in significant conservation presenting ~ demystifying

3 GREYWATER CODE BASICS (RELEVANT TO THESE TWO SYSTEMS) * able to divert flow back to sewer/septic (3-way valve) * direction of flow clearly labeled * no spray irrigation, ponding or runoff/must stay on property where generated * minimize contact with humans/domestic pets * irrigation or disposal field may be a “mulch basin” * discharge point covered by 2” of mulch/rock/soil or a solid shield * an operation/maintenance manual stays with the house * no root crops; greywater must not contact edible portion of food crops

4 greywater discharges inside “mulch shield” to mulch basin “Mulch. Organic waste material....permeable enough to allow rapid infiltration of graywater.” “Mulch Basin. A type of irrigation or disposal field filled with mulch...of sufficient depth, length and width to prevent ponding or runoff.” mulch basin image from “Create and Oasis with Greywater” by Art Ludwig

5 since “landscape direct” systems discharge greywater into mulch basins they are most suited to watering: trees shrubs large plants not appropriate for: lawns groundcovers beds with many small plants

6 “...utilizing only a single domestic clothes washing machine in a one- or two-family dwelling.” “A clothes washer system in compliance with... (12 guidelines) is exempt from a construction permit...” * water from washing diapers, infectious garments, or anything soiled with hazardous chemicals (oily rags) must be diverted back to sewer/septic * does not alter the plumbing or impact other building systems or safety * no added pump or potable water connection “CLOTHES WASHER SYSTEM”

7 “LAUNDRY TO LANDSCAPE” SYSTEM features: * easy to use diverter valve * washer pump pushes greywater to garden * uses 1” PVC to 1” HDPE with 1/2” outlets into mulch basins * design flexibility--can go slightly uphill or across flat yard * can have multiple zones/ regulate amount to different plants * easy to change * must choose “bio-compatible” laundry soaps

8 1” zone valve 1/2” outlets 1” HDPE main 1” HDPE main, 1/2” branches auto-vent to break siphon 1” three-way valve LAUNDRY TO LANDSCAPE mulch basins drawing by Christina Bertea

9 1” three-way valve installation

10 code requires labeling to indicate direction of flow through diverter valve

11 auto-vent/ studor vent/ air admittance valve-- installed at high point, ideally outdoors prevents siphoning of refill water once pump has stopped

12 1” ball valves can direct flow through 1” HDPE mains to different areas of garden

13 a 1” three-way valve can be used outdoors to create two zones: (no danger of both zones being closed at the same time)

14 1”x1/2” barbed tees direct greywater through 1/2” HDPE to outlets in mulch 1/2” ball valves can be used to “balance” flows HDPE tubing will be buried and mulch shield will be placed around outlet and covered with tile, paver, or stone

15 “MULCH SHIELD” outlet chamber: by inverting a one or two gallon plastic pot and cutting around the bottom, the “lid” can be flipped open to look inside or perforated pipe can be used (tops are covered with tiles, pavers, or stones) from “Create an Oasis with Greywater” by Art Ludwig

16 Homemade “Mulch Shields”: --cheaper than valve boxes --maintain a void that prevents mulch or roots from clogging outlet --mark outlet location, allow inspection to monitor flow --protected with paver, stone or tile outlets no smaller than 1/2” allow lint to flow through one end of a 1” main is left open as failsafe



19 Santa Rosa’s first rebated greywater system: completed during a two-day installer training Happy homeowner with Laura Allen, instructor and co-founder of the Greywater Guerrillas (now Greywater Action)

20 “BRANCHED DRAIN” SYSTEM features: * “simple system” PERMIT REQUIRED if under 250 gpd outflow * for TUBS, SHOWERS, SINKS (except kitchen sink/dishwasher) * three way DIVERTER VALVE IS CUT INTO DRAIN LINE * GRAVITY FLOW through 1-1/2” ABS to garden * piping installed with 1/4” per foot CONTINUOUS SLOPE to garden * must be able to clear foundation * no limit to distance other than depth of trench (given slope) * flow is distributed by DOUBLE ELL “splitters” * discharges greywater inside mulch shield to mulch basin

21 “The design of simple systems shall be acceptable to the Enforcing Agency and shall meet generally accepted graywater system design criteria.”

22 SINKS typically have traps above the floor a three-way diverter valve can be cut into the drain pipe in the wall for easy access

23 drains for TUBS and SHOWERS are under floor in crawlspace or basement the drain line must be cut to install the three-way diverter valve slabs make this greywater inaccessible

24 electronic “actuators” can operate difficult to access valves: the switch is mounted in a convenient location requires electricity must be labeled

25 plywood “access panel” in downstairs art studio has handle position labeling drawn on it

26 to select “zones” for greywatering: a three-way valve or ball valves can be used

27 “flow splitters” or “double ells”: if perfectly level with 2’ of straight pipe leading into them will split the flow evenly best if supported by brick or stone

28 “Create an Oasis with Greywater” by Art Ludwig


30 1” tapped plugs can be removed to monitor flow through double ells provide access in case of clogs a tile/paver/stone marks location

31 “the discharge point.... shall be covered by at least 2 inches of mulch, rock, or soil, or a solid shield to minimize the possibility of human contact” “Mulch Shield” solid shield images from “Create an Oasis with Greywater” by Art Ludwig

32 homemade mulch shield or purchased valve box maintains open space around outlet protects outlet from clogging with mulch or roots greywater freefalls onto mulch at bottom

33 Two LANDSCAPE DIRECT Systems LAUNDRY TO LANDSCAPE BRANCHED DRAIN Permit? No, if follow guidelines Yes, simple system (?) Distributed by Washing machine pump Gravity Through 1” PVC to 1” HDPE 1-1/2” ABS Slope of line can go slightly uphill consistent 1/4” per foot Discharged into mulch shield mulch shield Irrigation field mulch basin mulch basin

34 “towards a sustainable water culture”

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