Permaculture“Wastewater” SystemsGreywater and Black waterLisa DePiano
What is Greywater Anyway? Water from your sinks, showers and washing machines It is NOT water from your toilets or anything that has come into contact with Feces (Black water) 50-80% of residential “wastewater” is greywater Art Ludwig, Creating and Oasis with Greywater
Why Use Greywater? Reduce use of Freshwater Less strain on septic systems or treatment plants More effective puriﬁcation Feasibility for sites unsuitable for a septic tank Reduced use of energy and chemicals Recharge Groundwater Plant Growth Reclamation of Nutrients Increased awareness of natural cycles More FUN!
Greywater Potential Top Loader Washer: 30-50 gallons per load Front Loader Washer: 10-15 gallons per load Shower: low ﬂow shower head (2.5 gall/min) x 10 minutes= 25 gallons Bathtub: 30-40 gallons per bath Kitchen Sink: 50-15 gallons per person per day
Greywater Guidelines Do not store for more than 24 hours Minimize direct contact Do not allow anything toxic to go into the system Make sure all greywater goes into the ground Install 3-way valve for easy switching between greywater and sewer
Soaps and Products Avoid Salt and Boron Products that are salt and Boron Free: Oasis, ECOS, Bio Pac Liquid Detergent Dr. Bronners, Aubrey Organics, some Burts Bee’s Mostshampoos and Conditioners contain reproductive toxins and carcinogens check out cosmeticdatabase.org
Code/Legal Issues Arizona, New Mexico and Texas- Residential Systems (under 400 gal/day) fall under permit and are “legal” Australia- greywater is mandated, rebates
Grey Water Plants Plants that don’t like greywater: drought dependent (oak tree), acid loving (blueberry, ferns) Best for fruit trees, bushes, large annuals or perennials FoodCrops: Do not put greywater on edible portion, no roots, salad, good for berries and fruit
Choosing a System• There are many different systems that can be tailored to you or your clients design goals, site and budget. • The following slide is a list of some of the different types of greywater systems.
Choosing a System Landscape Direct Washer: Laundry Drum Washer: “drumless laundry” Shower/Sink: Branched Drain Shower/Sink: “drum with efﬂuent pump” Solar Greywater Greenhouse Constructed Wetlands
Drill bits for drilling holes through drywall 3-way valveHere are some basic greywater tools
Installing 3-way valve towasher so you can switchbetween the system and sewer
We all can install- Work with complementary skill sets
Other Waste WaterTreatment FLOATING “TRASH ISLAND”CONSTRUCTED WETLAND USING WASTE MATERIALS
Constructed Wetland • We mimic the way that a wetland cleans water. • Water enters system through a washing machine and gravity fed into bathtubs ﬁlled with gravel and wetland plants. • We create habitat for aerobic and anaerobic bacteria. They digest carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus which they use as nutrients. Rhizome Collective, Austin, TX
• Mimics ﬂoating islands inStorm Water Runoff nature when lake bank breaks from the shore. • Plant roots hold “island” together creating habitat for bacteria, zooplankton and other organisms which uptake excess nutrients and break down toxins • This is used in a storm water run off pond in Floating Island, Austin, TX Texas. Made from “trash” on site.
Black Water• Water containing fecal matter• Different contamination level and process• Best solution is source separation of fecal matter from clean drinking water• “Less than 2/10ths of 1 % of the planets water is drinkable, and 90 % goes to buildings, including ﬂushing toilets.” –national resources defense council
Black Water Treatment"Black waterBucket system Composting toilet Methane digester Living MachinePros, inexpensive, Onsite, low energy, Can be used to Uses biologicalSimple, direct Can be used as provide gas or resources,contact- visible fertilizer, energy, delt with BeautifulLow energy Decentralized onsite Large ScaleCons- direct Cultural View, Cost Energy intensive,contact, visible improper Cost,Cultural Views management Centralized The above is a chart of black water treatment options with pros and cons
Dockside Green, CN• Permaculture Design for community scale.• Located on a 15 acre Brownﬁeld on Victorias waterfront. It’s a mix business and residential development containing 26 buildings totaling 1.3 million square feet.• Treating 702,240 gallons of wastewater per week. Water used to ﬂush toilets and irrigate landscaping. Extra water will go to canal treated with plants.• Water feature increases real estate sales• www.docksidegreen.com
Diagram of Dock Side Green Project in Victoria, Canada