Watering with "grey water", any tips?

Are you looking for information or help in the garden. Post your agriculture, flora and fauna questions, suggestions and comments here.
olive
Andalucia Guru
Posts: 3146
Joined: Wed Oct 12, 2005 7:13 pm
Location: Poniente, Granada

Watering with "grey water", any tips?

Postby olive » Fri Apr 04, 2008 10:24 am

has anyone any practical tips on processing grey water prior to watering trees, plants and maybe veg.? e.g. filtration, settling tank maybe.

By grey water I mean sinks and shower water (not washing machine water).

I think in some areas the residual water from villages and towns is available as "irrigation" water to growers. Do users have to filter that?

olive

Don

Postby Don » Fri Apr 04, 2008 10:36 am

Avoid fats and oils. This can be done by passing through a oil trap, where any oils and fats float to the top. Also avoid any strong cleaning chemicals such as bleach. Probably the best plan is to pass grey water through a balancing tank where things get well mixed (and in a way diluted) and where any fats and oils can be trapped.

User avatar
country boy
Andalucia Guru
Posts: 2753
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 9:49 pm
Location: Pizarra, Guadalhorce Valley, Malaga.

Postby country boy » Fri Apr 04, 2008 7:12 pm

I built a three chamber grease trap and reservoir tank, which allows some bacterial action to take place in the first and second chambers, this has nearly done away with that grey water smell and allows for my drip feed system to run for some considerable time after, say a bath, has been emptied. I am very pleased with it. If you want a schematic please PM me with your email address. It is very similar to a mini septic tank but with a reservoir added to the end to accommodate copious quantities of water arriving all at once.

User avatar
ken2
Resident
Posts: 1509
Joined: Wed Feb 06, 2008 7:02 pm
Location: mijas malaga spain

Postby ken2 » Fri Apr 04, 2008 7:26 pm

the forecast for water in Spain this year is a bit grim, its great to read that some are doing their bit to save water, well reuse, i was only talking today about almost every apartment on this complex has a dishwasher, blimey ,what a waste,if water is short, lets go back to a bowl of water, then water the garden with the waste, don't chuck it down the sink. OK some will say it will hurt the plants??? my old dad use to pour it around the base of his roses, and as i can remember they was great,and if they had black fly he would chuck the washing up water over them,

Don

Postby Don » Fri Apr 04, 2008 9:07 pm

It is true Ken that soapy water is good for roses but not all plants. Actually a dishwashing machine uses less water than doing it all by hand but of course you dont get to re-use the more concentrated "effluent" than you have with a bowl. Dishwashers also are way better at disinfection or even sterilisation than hand washing dishes in a bowl although they do use energy to do so. I am very pro-environment so I do understand the pros and cons of all this stuff but I also wish to optimise the health aspect. Some of the most bacterially contaminated things in many kitchens are dishcloths and towels.

User avatar
hillybilly
Andalucia Guru
Posts: 2939
Joined: Thu Oct 07, 2004 12:53 am
Location: Estepa, Sevilla

Postby hillybilly » Fri Apr 04, 2008 9:52 pm

If you use ecoballs (yes, that's what they're called!) in your washing machine instead of detergent then you can use all that effluent on your garden too.

User avatar
ken2
Resident
Posts: 1509
Joined: Wed Feb 06, 2008 7:02 pm
Location: mijas malaga spain

Postby ken2 » Sat Apr 05, 2008 12:15 am

Don wrote:It is true Ken that soapy water is good for roses but not all plants. Actually a dishwashing machine uses less water than doing it all by hand but of course you dont get to re-use the more concentrated "effluent" than you have with a bowl. Dishwashers also are way better at disinfection or even sterilisation than hand washing dishes in a bowl although they do use energy to do so. I am very pro-environment so I do understand the pros and cons of all this stuff but I also wish to optimise the health aspect. Some of the most bacterially contaminated things in many kitchens are dishcloths and towels.



thanks for that blimey i thought dishwashers used like washing machines,so i can have no worries about using the dishwasher ?great because we love the fact that things are much cleaner, germ wise,

geegee
Resident
Posts: 480
Joined: Tue Aug 09, 2005 11:15 am
Location: Malaga, Nr Antequera

Postby geegee » Mon Apr 07, 2008 10:23 am

Good for you Olive, great to see more and more people considering reusing water. If you wanted a high-tech automatic system that can also be reused in the house as well, eg in toilets, Aquacycle does one but its expensive and best installed during a refurb or new build. For irrigation use, sounds like Country Boy's system would be ideal. Country boy do you add a water softener? I was told this was a good idea because of the high alkaline nature of the soil and water and also stops build up if you used the recycled water for cleaning paving etc.

olive
Andalucia Guru
Posts: 3146
Joined: Wed Oct 12, 2005 7:13 pm
Location: Poniente, Granada

Postby olive » Mon Apr 07, 2008 2:28 pm

A few years ago, I went to Cyprus and was pleased to see that properties there have three water pipes.

Hot water, Cold drinking water, Cold non potable for flushing loos and watering plants.

It grieves me to see good quality drinking water just flushed away. Try emptying water from the kitchen sink into a bucket for a couple of days to see how much is wasted!

I also saw that virtually every house has solar water heating. It beggars belief that Spain doesn't have cheap, quality systems available off the shelf.

olive

geegee
Resident
Posts: 480
Joined: Tue Aug 09, 2005 11:15 am
Location: Malaga, Nr Antequera

Postby geegee » Wed Apr 09, 2008 8:32 pm

Well said, Olive, totally agree! I feel guilty everytime I empty a bucket of washing up water down the sink :oops:

olive
Andalucia Guru
Posts: 3146
Joined: Wed Oct 12, 2005 7:13 pm
Location: Poniente, Granada

Postby olive » Thu May 01, 2008 1:22 pm

Well the Mark one two tank grey water system works quite well. All automated. The Mark two will have a third tank.

However I need a much better filtering system. In particular a grease and oil trap. Anyone seen one or can point me at one?

Country Boy I think I sent you a PM with my Email address on it for your schematic.

olive

Mariacristina
Andalucia.com Amigo
Posts: 224
Joined: Fri Apr 25, 2008 9:10 pm
Location: Cordoba Province

Watering with "grey water" any tips

Postby Mariacristina » Sat May 03, 2008 10:10 pm

This is a subject that I have been giving a lot of thought to and currently have my technically minded friends working on it. MEANTIME I put a huge plastic bowl ( bought as a laundry basket) in the bottom of the shower and stand in it. I use minimum shower gel and shampoo and leave the water to cool before using it to water my garden. I have been doing this for over a year. My water bills are down and my plants look good - mainly flowers and salad crops. No, the lettuce does not taste of shower gel! I also use a bowl in the kitchen sink and all non-greasy water is used in the garden. All very simple and is working!

BusterG
Tourist
Posts: 19
Joined: Thu Oct 24, 2013 1:42 pm
Location: Romo , Solano
Contact:

Re: Watering with "grey water", any tips?

Postby BusterG » Mon Oct 28, 2013 1:53 pm

Hi All.
I am very interested in putting a a gravity fed grey-water system at my rental property bathroom near Comares.

The watering seems straightforward enough but I dont want a tank that will be smelly.
Has anyone tried filters or pH neutralisers for the soapy output?
Will a sealed tank with underground drip pipes remove any smell and not clog too easily?

if anyone has a drawing, photos or schematic of their system i would greatly appreciate them.
PM me for email address or post them on here.

Thanks Buster

ajtg1952
Resident
Posts: 1612
Joined: Fri Sep 04, 2009 3:11 pm
Location: Concas, Los Ventorros de Comares

Re: Watering with "grey water", any tips?

Postby ajtg1952 » Mon Oct 28, 2013 5:55 pm

I know of someone who put in a small reed bed system using 3 sections of an old oil drum. It established quickly and works extremely well. Absolutely no smell.

jhonie99
Andalucia.com Amigo
Posts: 80
Joined: Fri Oct 23, 2009 12:05 pm

Re: Watering with "grey water", any tips?

Postby jhonie99 » Tue Oct 29, 2013 1:25 pm

I had assumed that using the sewage to water the garden was common practice all over Spain!!

We reuse everything and it works like a dream, although monitoring and small maintenance is required.

Our depuradora is a 2 tank system, solids remain in the first and liquid filters into the second tank where we have a submersible pump with "tilt" switch to automatically pump the liquid around the garden. It's simple and effective. More modern versions exist as this is 15 years old. An overflow pipe exists to a lower plot, for safety. We use a timer to ensure it operates at night during the summer, mornings at other times.

We flush a "bacteria" tablet down the loo about once a week to help the breakdown process.

I think many of you are over analysing the system. No worries about chemicals or oils or anything else as it gets diluted in the tanks. Everything except rain water goes into the tanks. Although we use less bleach and cleaning agents then normal. the little openings in the pipes need clearing regularly, but again it's no big deal.

It operates almost everyday for about half hour and although it can be smelly when the water is been pumped around the garden, the benefits outway the inconvenience. You get used to it and it is the countryside afterall.

Couldn't live without it now as where I live it rarely rains.

BusterG
Tourist
Posts: 19
Joined: Thu Oct 24, 2013 1:42 pm
Location: Romo , Solano
Contact:

Re: Watering with "grey water", any tips?

Postby BusterG » Tue Oct 29, 2013 2:32 pm

Thanks for the input!
Interesting that you are using this for sewerage as well.
I am only proposing it for bath, basin and washing machine water.
The pozo negro that is installed is now deep under a patio but has a 2 stage feature that flows into the ground unfortunately.
As the property is used a rental I probably wont consider installing a pump in chamber 2 just yet.

ajtg1952 , I would be really interested in your friends the 3 stage reed option.
Can you encourage him to post up some details or email me? I will PM you my email address.

Thanks everybody and good luck.
Buster


Return to “Gardens & Gardening”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests