Greywater harvesting image gallery
Examples harnessing the potential of free, on-site greywater…
A low-cost outdoor tree shower. It works great in summer when you need a shower and the plants need water. See “Rainwater Harvesting for Drylands and Beyond, Volume 2” for more information. Photo: Brad Lancaster A gravity-fed greywater drain from porch tub to mulched tree basin. Photo: Brad Lancaster A bathtub/shower greywater “spring” directs drain water to a well-mulched and vegetated infiltration basin. A three-way valve(downstream of the P-trap and vent) in a valve box allows for distribution of greywater to either the landscape or the sewer. The end of the greywater pipe discharges 2 to 3 inches (5 to 8 cm) above the mulch in the basin to prevent roots from growing into the pipe and solids from backing up and clogging the pipe. Greywater immediately infiltrates beneath the surface of the mulch into the soil of level-bottomed basins to be used by plants. Mulched and vegetated infiltration basins (right side of photo) in a small yard receiving greywater (dashed purple arrows) and roof runoff (dashed blue arrow). Photo: Brad Lancaster Greywater drains (marked with the trees the pipes will send their water to. Drain hose from washer is placed in a different pipe with every load of laundry.
Note: include an additional marked drainpipe going to the sewer (capped when not in use) as an option for households that occasionally use non-biocompatible detergents orthat have seasonally saturated or frozen soils. Photo: Brad Lancaster Outdoor washing machine in a non-freezing climate with a multi-drain greywater-harvesting system distributing greywater to mulched and vegetated basins. Pipes maintain a minimum 2% slope. Note: outdoor installations do not require P-traps or vent stacks for greywater drains, but they are required for the sewer drains. Illustration: Joe Marshall Three-way Jandy Valve diverter valve conveniently located between toilet and sink directs sink greywater to landscape or sewer at the Pierson Street EcoHood in Phoenix, Arizona. See “Rainwater Harvesting for Drylands and Beyond, Volume 2” for more information. Photo: Brad Lancaster Three-way diverter valve conveniently located in cabinet under a bathroom sink. Drain water goes down the sink drain, through the P-trap, down the vertical pipe/vent stack to the 3-way valve. The valve handle is cut shorter to fit the space. The vertical pipe/vent—with a one-way air vent [or air admittance vent] that sits atop the vent stack—creates an air break so water won’t siphon out of the P-trap. Photo: Brad Lancaster Greywater drain outlet empties into a mulched and vegetated basin that also harvests rainwater and runoff. The pipe outlet discharges 3 inches (7.6 cm) above the surface of the mulch to keep roots from growing into and clogging the discharge pipe. Greywater immediately infiltrates through the mulch to the soil below. Greywater is dispersed to multiple basins to reduce flow to any single basin, enhancing infiltration further. Basins are sized to contain and infiltrate the peak surge of greywater that could potentially be discharged in a short time period. Photo: Brad Lancaster Newly installed passive rainwater- and greywater-harvesting landscape in Flagstaff, Arizona. Branched drain plumbing in raised paths. Pipes outlet to lower mulched basins. Work by Eden on Earth Landscaping. Photo: Brad Lancaster A branched drain flow splitter in valve box. Note how pipe and flow splitters are installed in raised paths, so greywater can more easily be outletted into lower mulched basin. Work by Eden on Earth Landscaping, Flagstaff, Arizona. Photo: Brad Lancaster Greywater outlet above mulched basin working well in the dead of winter in Calgary, Canada. Greywater leaves the house at room temperature so it does not freeze in the pipe which maintains a minimum 2% slope. Infiltration chamber greywater outlet before covering it with soil. Its a premanufactured Infiltrator Systems ouIlet chamber sized to handle the peak surge of greywater entering the system from a bathroom sink. The soil percolation rate is slow due to high clay soils. Urban Farm, Phoenix, Arizona. Note: These infiltration chambers also work great for septic leach fields, since you can plant trees beside them to utilize the “waste water.” See “Rainwater Harvesting for Drylands and Beyond, Volume 2, 2nd Edition” for more information. Photo: Brad Lancaster Infiltrator Systems outlet chambers and greywater pipe covered with soil and fallen leaves. Note: The inspection pipe can be hidden under decorative rock if desired. See “Rainwater Harvesting for Drylands and Beyond, Volume 2, 2nd Edition” for more information. Photo: Brad Lancaster The interior of three Infiltrator Systems infiltration chambers linked together, Lama, New Mexico. Photo: Brad Lancaster A renter option. Greywater can be directed to sewer pipe (to right of washer) or landscape via surge tank (to left of washer). Hose can be moved to different plants. Purpose of the surge tank is to protect the washing machine’s drain pump. If the hose gets kinked water won’t back up into washer and burn out its pump, because there is still room in the surge tank for the washer to drain into. Photo: Brad Lancaster Threading the hole in the surge tank with a brass tap for the hose nipple. Photo: Brad Lancaster Do NOT put a valve on the surge tank, because you want it to drain as quickly as possible. It is not good to store greywater in a tank for more than 1 hour, because it starts to turn septic. Other end of hose is moved to different plantings to irrigate them with greywater. Photo: Brad Lancaster Blissful simplicity. Rainwater from roof is directed to 55-gallon tank that feeds sink. Sink drain directs greywater to newly planted banana circle. Gravity does all the work. PermaForest Trust in Queensland, Australia. Photo: Brad Lancaster For more
info on how to design and implement such systems see the greywater harvesting chapter in
Rainwater Harvesting for Drylands and Beyond, Volume 2, 2nd Edition available direct from the author at deep discount.
See the new, full-color, revised editions of Brad’s award-winning books
– available a deep discount, direct from Brad:
Especially Volume 2, its greywater harvesting chapter, and dark grey water harvesting appendix