View Full Version : there's no black or white with grey water
10-05-2004, 09:02 PM
good day all.
i'm trying to find out more on grey water systems, and what different people have come up with themselves.
is it better to filter the water first (eg reed beds) or just drain/pump straight onto beds of fruit trees etc...?
i understand the chemicals being used in the system do affect the answer substantially. i've tried to find the most eco-friendly products to use, but surely these would still have some detrimental effect on the soil organisms and pH levels if applied directly.
are some fruit trees/other plants more tolerant of direct grey water than others?
11-05-2004, 01:07 AM
A while ago I posted a similar question and Jeff Nugent suggested running the water through a worm bed comprised mostly of straw initially, the idea being that nutrients from detergents etc would settle on the straw to be consumed by the worms. I think that the more filtering, biological or other wise you can practically do to the water before you release it into your "soil" the better, as your fruit trees or whatever are only going to be able to take up so much, and the rest will leach into water tables etc.
11-05-2004, 08:18 AM
My own observation has been that the fruit trees that received grey water on them as opposed to those that havent have been more prone to disease. This practice was done by the previous owner.
As a rule i wont put it on my fruit trees but have substantial water loving rainforest trees that get it all now. I agree that filtering the water through reed beds etc would be the best way to go except that creating something like that would just add another job to my list that i am not willing to take on at the moment.
We use mostly bio-degradible products but still have some chemicals in the house..... bit by bit, little by little is the way we are going.... that way we dont get all overwhelmed at once :)
11-05-2004, 09:34 AM
depends how much you want to spend? how often you want to attend to maintainence ? how much room have you got? and how much water?
after much investigation - we are about to start our project having found an understanding bank manager!!! we are opting for a worm farm 'septic tank' - Worm Farm Waste Systems (http://www.wormfarm.com.au/)
there are plenty of other options - this site has a few - Septic and Sewage Site (http://www.users.bigpond.com/envirowatch/SPEW/Toilet%20options.htm)
but i'm prepared to spend the $5K for a system that does all our compost, black and grey water and can be filtered out through and around (not directly) on our proposed orchard...
it has been on gardening australia - and the best thing - they do all your council approval plans and have gone through all the messy work of getting approved by whichever body it is that looks after that stuff.
11-05-2004, 12:45 PM
Sounds excellent Dan! I have seen that one on Gardening Oz as well and seems a great system.
A question for you.... whats it like in handling chemicals though? or have you managed to eliminate use of all chemicals?
11-05-2004, 03:09 PM
it isn't in yet! we are still in the building/development process.
but didn't consider it. the harshest chemical we use is ordinary soap - which my wife makes herself.
we use that in different forms (miked with bi-carb, vinegar, or washing soda) to clean dishes, clothes, ourselves and any porridge or crayon stains that young felix decides will make a good mural on the wall.
so yeah - we became a chemical free household some time ago. happy to provide recipes and ideas on that if you are interested...
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