[nafex] Gray Water

jhecksel at voyager.net jhecksel at voyager.net
Mon Mar 4 10:42:04 EST 2002


Hi All:

According to an article in Countryside magazine, laundry is hard on
septic systems because the fibers/lint from the clothing clogs the
openings in the drain pipe.  Synthetic fibers are particularly hard on
the system because they do not decompose.

We have a graywater drain for the laundry...which was to code when
installed but is not now.  I wish the builder had also run the bath
water to the graywater system.

> Hi,
>
> Ordinances change over time, and what was fine once becomes banned.
To
> my way of thinking, wasting gray water by putting it into a septic
tank
> is wrong.  I also believe that gray water may shorten the life of a
> leaching field.  If memory serves, the phosphates in the laundry
soap
> kill the active bacteria in the leach field that keep it open and
> flowing.  I am no expert in this area though.
>
> My mother in-law uses a "water saver" washing machine, which re-uses
> gray water for rinsing clothes.  It takes in clean water, washes,
pumps
> gray (rinse) water out to a laundry sink and re-uses it.  On the
farm,
> water is an issue, and she does not waste a drop.  When the laundry
is
> done, the remaining water is carried (by hand) to water the
vegetable
> garden.
>
> These types of washers are common in rural areas, where there is a
> demand for water, and water resources are low.
>
> They still use the cistern which collects rain water from all the
> gutters.  There is only one tap in the kitchen which offers drinking
> water from the well.  The rest of the house water (toilets, sinks,
> showers) all use cistern water.  Keep in mind that the single well
has
> to supply the single kitchen tap, and the needs of 100 thirsty
cattle
> when they are in the feed lot.
>
> Most of us waste thousands of gallons of water, never even thinking
> about it.  Gray water is one such waste.
>
> Later,
> Tom
>
> crmauch wrote:
>
> >  You might want to check local ordinances re: the laundry water
(and
> > gray water in general).  The prior owner of my house had routed
his
> > laundry room discharge to a gravel drain "pit" rather than have it
go
> > into his septic tank/field (I believe he was trying to avoid
dealing
> > w/ a failing field).  When it was discovered, he was forced to
route
> > it into his septic tank.
> >
> > Chris Mauchline
> > SE PA, zone 6
> >
> > --- In nafex at y..., "Doreen Howard" <doreenh at t...> wrote:
> > > Ginda,
> > > Even if you have water restrictions due to drought this summer,
you
> > can
> > > water a new currant bush or two with gray water--leftover water
> > from the
> > > house.  The dog or cat's stale water dish (instead of dumping
it),
> > > dishwashing water, bath water, even washing machine water, if
you
> > don't use
> > > phosphate-loaded soaps.  I grew up in arid So. Calif. where we
> > watched our
> > > water consumption all the time.  I remember how my Dad rigged
the
> > hose from
> > > the washing machine to pour into his vegetable garden.  And we
used
> > to haul
> > > dish water out to the lemon and banana trees all the time.
> > > Doreen Howard,
> > > Wisconsin, Zone 4b, where winter finally arrived--2 feet of snow
> > fell in the
> > > last two days.
> > >
> > > ----- Original Message -----
> > > From: "Ginda Fisher" <ginda at c...>
> > > To: "NAFEX" <nafex at y...>
> > > Sent: Sunday, March 03, 2002 8:14 PM
> > > Subject: [nafex] drought
> > >
> > >
> > > > I was planning on putting in several shrubs this spring
> > (including a
> > > > couple of currants, so this isn't entirely off-topic) but
we've
> > had an
> > > > unusually warm and dry winter, and I'm worried we'll have a
> > drought this
> > > > summer.  I can probably water anyway (my town rarely has tight
> > water
> > > > restrictions - every-other day is about as bad as I've seen
it)
> > but I
> > > > wonder if I ought to just wait a year.
> > > >
> > > > In some ways, how much it rains during the spring and summer
may
> > be more
> > > > important to success than how wet the winter was, but if it's
> > generally
> > > > dry, maybe more water would be needed.  And then, even if we
> > don't hve
> > > > real watering restrictions, I don't want to be wasteful in a
dry
> > year.
> > > >
> > > > Any thoughts?
> > > >
> > > > Ginda FIsher
> > > > eastern Mass, zone 6
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
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