Grey Water Treatment
Mandating Purple Pipes for Reuse
in AZ and BC
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
A trend towards accepting “The Greywater Recycling
Concept” is forming with North American Officials. Earlier this year, The
Government for the Province of British Columbia had stated that by 2010,
greywater piping systems would be mandated in all new residential construction.
The trend continued with the City of Tucson, Arizona mandating the same
systems by mid 2009. This is proof that Greywater Recycling Systems are
becoming an accepted and mainstream solution for reducing indoor water
consumption, thereby helping to sustain our most precious natural resource.
with micro-leaching chambers is an effective improvement over standard
gravel and pipe drainfields. The infiltrator
units measure 3'x6'x1', weigh about 30 pounds, are available in 12" or
15" depth, and can store 66 gallons (standard) or 110 gallons (high capacity
infiltrator); this storage volume is three or more times greater than a
gravel trench. These sections fasten together with self-drilling
screws, and the entire system can be delivered in one pickup truck and
installed by one person with a backhoe, level and rake. The
entire bottom of the trench provides a perfect unmasked infiltrative surface,
the side wall is designed to minimize the masking effect, there is no vertical
silt intrusion, and the micro-leaching chambers create voids for optimal biomat
formation and the 1/4" slots provide open area equal to the porosity of
the sides of a gravel trench. These structurally tested infiltrators are
great for drain fields, mounds, pressure systems, and storm water management.
They are made in
Here it is! At last there is a gray water treatment system that works for both single family residences as well as for entire communities.
The AIRR (Alternating Intermittent Recirculating Reactor) system is a breakthrough in blackwater systems, and is an innovative alternative for the conventional drainfield. Because it is actually designed to treat blackwater (toilet water), it most definitely will handle greywater, particularly when combined with low-flush composting toilets.
Approved by the state of
The system consists of a septic/dosing tank, a biological reactor containing both secondary and tertiary sections, a simple cover structure, a recirculating tank and a discharge tank or pipe; circuit board control is an option. The size of the reactor depends on the amount of gallons that need to be processed per day. The reactor's size is based on five gallons per square foot per day. An AIRR system can be designed for a single residence or an entire community. The AIRR system has many features. One is low maintenance. Regular septic tank pumping, periodic visual inspection of the sprinkler heads and pumps, and normal routine maintenance of the cover structure is all that is needed. Other features include low construction cost for both new and repair systems, energy efficient low power consumption, adjustability to peak loading or idling, it can replace or upgrade old or failed systems that do not meet current discharge standards, and the system can be expanded and added onto to meet new volume requirements.
So why doesn't everyone with problem soils use an AIRR system? It's like a miniature sewage treatment plant with tertiary treatment! Because most counties still insist on subsurface disposal of all water, whether gray or black. This means that most counties still insist that a drainfield, mound system, sand filter, or leach field be installed, regardless of the water's cleanliness, for single-family residences. If the system is used by a community and a maintenance person supervises its operation, then the state will permit discharge into existing waterways in most areas. Having been producing excellent results since 1977, the AIRR manufacturers claim that drainfields could be reduced by 90% down to only 10% of the normal requirements. Unfortunately, some counties do not trust the individual homeowner to maintain such a system properly, so it is important to check with your local county authorities. The AIRR system is made in
This proprietary product is listed in the department's List of Approved Systems and Products (http://www.doh.wa.gov/ehp/ts/WW/approved-list-oct-2004.pdf). It is classified as a Packed Bed Filtration / Attached Growth Process (P. 18). It is also listed as meeting the BOD and TSS parameters for Treatment Standards 1 and 2, but must use disinfection to meet the 3rd parameter of these treatment standards, Fecal Coliform. This information is on pp. 34-38 of the above-cited List of Approved Systems and Products.
For further information, contact
or call (877) 713-7858
The Brac Greywater Recycling System is a compact residential gray water recycling system, and is a must for anyone who cares about the environment. Brac systems are designed to fit into conventional houses, apartments and buildings. A Brac System can help you save 35% to 40% off your daily water usage as well as your annual water bill. While saving money, you will also help save the environment and provide a better future for our children and their children to come. With this amount of savings, your Brac Greywater Recycling System pays itself. Not only does Brac Systems hold an international patent, but it is also one of very few greywater systems that is approved by many local county officials.
"UNESCO has predicted that by 2020 water shortage will be a serious worldwide problem."
The department's policy and recommended standards and guidance regarding gray water (a.k.a. greywater) are contained in the Recommended Standards and Guidance for Water Conserving Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems (http://www.doh.wa.gov/ehp/ts/WW/WaterConservSystems-2000.pdf). Essentially you treat it as any other sewage discharge.
"Greywater systems are virtually the same as combined-wastewater on-site sewage systems. Gravity flow greywater systems consist of a septic tank and a subsurface drainfield. Pressurized greywater systems consist of a septic tank, a pump chamber or vault, and a subsurface drainfield. Other types of alternative systems, pre-treatment methods and drainfield design and materials options may also be incorporated in greywater systems.
The primary distinction between a greywater system and a combined wastewater system is the lower volume of wastewater. As a result the size of the septic tank and the subsurface drainfield is smaller compared to a system that treats and disposes of all the household wastewater (combined) through a septic tank and drainfield.
(To help assure that future household fixture and/or plumbing changes do not overload the greywater treatment and disposal system, the household and system plumbing must be clearly identified GREYWATER ONLY-NOT FOR COMBINED WASTEWATER .) "
Systems are approved in King and
The first question
that comes with the topic of waterless toilets is whether or not a drainfield
is still necessary. The logical answer is no, but the legal answer
is yes. Graywater -- sink, shower, bath
and laundry water -- must be disposed of beneath the surface of the soil,
unless you can think of an inexpensive way to evaporate it. (If you
do, call me.) Although in the soil few viruses can survive very long
since it is cold, the distance between grains of sand are great, and there
are predators that eat viruses, still viruses can travel up to three feet
from the source in dry soil; however, when transported in water, viruses
have been detected thirty feet from the source and can even go farther.
Consequently, in order to prevent the health hazards presented by contact
with viruses, pathogens and bacteria, graywater
must be disposed of in a drainfield, mound
system or an approved leach field at least one hundred feet from any water
-- pond, lake, house, stream, well, beach, etc. In 1977 the state
of Washington put out a set of guidelines approving composting toilets
and allowing with their use a reduction of the septic tank
size by fifty percent and of the drainfield size by forty percent. The size of a drainfield is determined by the number of bedrooms in the house, with each bedroom representing two full-time users. The current state guidelines are even more versed in the application of alternative systems. Ask DSHS in
This site is essential reading for anyone considering installing a greywater system. It covers the most common mistakes and misconceptions pertaining to greywater treatment and design, and answers the most frequently asked questions. Go to www.oasisdesign.net
Create an Oasis with Greywate by Art Ludwig, revised Feb. 2000
Building Professional's Greywater Guide by Art Ludwig, revised 1999
Guide: Using Greywater in Your Home Landscape
by CA Dept. of Water Resources,
P.O. Box 942836
How to Grow $500,000 on One Acre
by Anna Edey This book, written by Anna Edey
in the late 1990's discusses greywater use
within a greenhouse arrangement.
See firstname.lastname@example.org, or write to
Solviva Solar-Dynamic Bio-Benign Design, RSD 1,
Drip Irrigation for Every Landscape and All Climates by Robert Kourik, 1992
Reuse: Overseas Practice and it's Applicability to Australia
by Barry Jeppesen
& David Solley, 1994, Urban Water Research Association, Melbourne Water, GPO Box 4342
Melbourned 3001 AUSTRALIA
Geoflow Subsurface Dripline Design & Installation manual for Small Systems, 1997
Grey Water Use in the Home Garden
from the Farallone Institute, 1978
Integral Urban House, 1516 Fifth St., Berkeley, CA 94710
OR: The Rural Center, 15290 Coleman Valley Rd., Occidental, CA 95465
Washington, January 24, 2002 (ENS) - A water reclamation project in
"Yelm is a role model to the rest of
Yelm reclaims all of its wastewater to irrigate landscaping at churches, parks, a football field and one residence. The water also is added to streams and is used to recharge water underground at a city wetland park that includes a catch and release fish pond for rainbow trout. The community now reuses 200,000 gallons of water a day, and expects to someday reuse up to one million gallons of water a day. One benefit of reusing water is that it allows the city to extend the life of its drinking water, Hoffmann said.
Most cities discard their treated wastewater on land or in water under the requirements of Department of Ecology permits. The Ecology Department says Yelm is a role model to the rest of
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SinkPositive http://www.sinkpositive.com is a retrofit for your toilet lid that turns it into a sink.
Greywater System, Above Grade, Voltage 12, 1-1/2 In Inlet, 1/2 In Outlet, Basin Height 15-1/2 In, Basin Capacity 5.5 gal., Cord Length 4 ft.
AQUS® Water Recycling SystemReuses captured lavatory sink water to fill the tank on a gravity-fed toilet. Unit has a 12VDC pump with average flow rate of 1.6 gal. per 1 min. 12 sec. Vanity tank reservoir is 15-1/2 x 15-1/2 x 8-3/4" and has a tablet dispenser for chlorine tablets (not included), used to help control bacteria and other contaminants. Includes vanity tank-to-toilet tank connection hardware.
Your decision to obtain and use any of these alternative systems is a necessary step toward the future direction of the entire concept of"waste disposal." You are welcome to make an appointment to visit my own personalClivusMultrum, CTS, electric car, organic garden, solar collectors, compact fluorescent lights, windmill, and water purifiers, in my home built of recycled materials. I am along-term, dependable, committed proponent for these and other appropriate technological solutions to a more sensible, aware, and vitally improved lifestyle. Join meand let's improve the world one more way.
Pick up your phone and call me today:
(206) 324-5055 / (360) 730-7992
Toll-free: (877) 713-7858