Grey Water Collection Experiment

Thought I’d impulsively collect my shower water today. Honestly surprised with how much I collected.  I’ve used some of it  to “flush” the toilet, which only required lifting the lid and pouring it in.  Problem is I won’t use it all flushing toilets before my next shower and I have no place to store this water for future use.

The amount of water I collected from one shower makes me wonder why houses are not built with grey water collection systems with plumbing designed to use grey water for flushing toilets and irrigation.

Grey Water Collection Experiment

My first attempts at grey water collection.

About Michelle Millet

Michelle is a 25-year resident of Davis. She currently serves as the Vice-Chair of the Natural Resource Commission and sits on the Executive Boards of the Explorit Science Center and Davis Bicycles! Michelle writes periodic columns for the Davis Enterprise and maintains a blog about her family's efforts to live a zero-waste lifestyle, and works as a part time substitute teacher. Michelle and her husband Mitch live in South Davis with their 11-year old daughter Emi, their 9-year old son Drew, plus their 2 dogs, and 6 chickens.

2 Responses

  1. You need to use caution in irrigating with greywater because it contains bodily wastes and (if your sink is included) food particles. It is unhygienic.

    Some greywater issues:
    Products going into your outflow need to be free of salts, free of chloride.
    Since distribution into the yard is usually frequent and shallow, it’s not ideal for most irrigation of woody plants. IMO it’s best for turf areas, or to water bare soil that’s covered with mulch (the mulch acts as a filter).
    You need a permit, though most people don’t get them. I don’t know what city code is in Davis.
    Issues with using it for irrigation:
    Don’t allow puddling.
    Don’t allow contact with edible portions of plants.
    Avoid dishwasher water.
    No water from sodium softeners.
    Don’t run it through drip systems.
    Don’t store greywater.

  2. Because greywater is unhygienic. It contains bodily wastes.
    Some greywater issues with respect to landscape irrigation:
    Products going into your outflow need to be free of salts, free of chloride.
    Since distribution into the yard is usually frequent and shallow, it’s not ideal for most irrigation of woody plants. IMO it’s best for turf areas, or to water bare soil that’s covered with mulch (the mulch acts as a filter).
    For replumbing, you need a permit, though most people don’t get them. I don’t know what city code is in Davis.
    If you use it in the landscape:
    Don’t allow puddling.
    Don’t allow contact with edible portions of plants.
    Avoid dishwasher water.
    No water from sodium softeners.
    Don’t run it through drip systems.
    Don’t store greywater.

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