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Thread: Crazy gray water recycling idea

  1. #1
    Electrical Engineer jdf405's Avatar
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    Red face Crazy gray water recycling idea

    Here in Southern California, or anywhere for that matter, water waste is a shame.

    Before me & the Mrs. hit the shower at the end of the line we put a clean 5 gallon bucket under the tub spout and capture the gallon or so of waste until the hot arrives. The plants love it.

    I know, I know... we're nuts.

    But today we thought of a way we can one-up our selves. I would love to have a switch or automated value in the drain line on our kitchen sink. So much water goes down the drain from washing lettuce or after boiling corn or taters - that's perfect for those thirsty plants.

    My house is on a raised foundation so I was toying with a way of tapping into the drain to a sump pump then have that fill a 55 gallon rain catch drum outside.

    Any thoughts on how I could execute this switch automatically? Maybe I could do the same thing for the shower & tub?

    Thanks for your input and patience!
    -Jonathan

  2. #2
    Master Plumber nhmaster's Avatar
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    Before you start designing and building a trip through the plumbing code book would be a good idea. For over a hundred years now we have been improving waste and supply systems to the point that people no longer get sick and die from diseases that in the past killed hundreds of thousands. Messing with the "sanitary" drainage, without the proper knowledge is asking for trouble.

  3. #3
    Master Plumber Dunbar Plumbing's Avatar
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    Food is acidic waste.

    Food is food; that means it's going to attract/draw insects and animals to your yard now that you've created "flavored" water.


    Stop eating vegetables because they don't keep you from getting cancer, and they waste thousands of gallons of water to just eat them.

    And there's no doubt that steroids of the nature type are being used to product fantastic results of flawless looking vegetation that 25 years ago...it just didn't exist.


    I got a bill going to congress to remove all lettuce and cabbage off the planet by 2012. I know I can do it.
    Read what the end of this sentence means.

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    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    I got a bill going to congress to remove all lettuce and cabbage off the planet by 2012. I know I can do it.
    I thought it was Lima Beans that were bad for you.

  5. #5
    Master Plumber Redwood's Avatar
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    I urge you all to join my new organization...
    People for the Ethical Treatment of Lettuce (PETOL)

    I cringe at the thought of those poor lettuce plants being decatitated by farm workers with sharp knives just to feed inconsiderate people who don't care about the plight of the poor lettuce plant
    Last edited by Redwood; 06-13-2009 at 09:57 PM.

  6. #6
    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    Default Dead fish are not toys.

    http://open.salon.com/blog/wskrz/200..._be_kidding_me



    Oh, the horror!
    PETA is against throwing a fish.
    In the Seattle Pike Place Market, they throw fish.
    Is PETA against throwing apples too?


    Last edited by Terry; 06-14-2009 at 08:17 AM.

  7. #7
    Master Plumber master plumber mark's Avatar
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    Talking water your garden....

    If you are crazy enough to worry about that water,
    then put a small sump pump in a bucket under your
    crawl space and capture all your sink water,

    then pump it out into your garden...

    but if you try to resue it in any other way
    you could make yourself deathly ill...


    of course you cant use a garbage disposal,
    and get some boi-degradeable dish washing soap..



    its all basically all just a waste of time...



    somebody......... throw me a salmon.........

  8. #8
    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
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    Please let's not turn back into a 3rd world country. Codes like the UPC already address gray water, and the first thing you find is that the kitchen waste is NOT gray, it is black. Too much organic material. Even the water from lav and shower is NOT BACTERIOLOGICALLY SAFE. Gray water must be filtered, and applied UNDERGROUND. It is NOT legal or safe to just dump or spray it into the garden.

    There are organizations of "gray water nazis" who think it is their privelege to do whatever the hell they feel like. It is only a matter of time until a public health incident occurs. Probably already has. They also feel they "don't need no stinking backflow preventers"

    Plenty of information in the UPC code, or 2007 CA Plumbing Code. Why not pick up a copy.

  9. #9
    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    I had a customer whose kitchen sink pipe was leaking into their back yard.
    It was attracting plenty of rats.
    They brought out an exterminator, and had me repair the piping.
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    Last edited by Terry; 06-14-2009 at 08:08 AM.

  10. #10
    Illinois Licensed Plumber SewerRatz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Terry View Post
    I had a customer whose kitchen sink pipe was leaking into their back yard.
    It was attracting plenty of rats.
    They brought out an exterminator, and had me repair the piping.
    Thats a cute little rat you got there Terry. But when you fixed that leak you made them all sad.


  11. #11
    Sound and Light Suppervisor for a School District tjbaudio's Avatar
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    I am also a member a PETA:

    People Eating Tasty Animles!

    While growing up in Wisconsin and around the farming industry I had a hard time understanding why ANY ONE would be come a vegitarian. Now I can understand vegitarian for medicle reasons. VEGANS need to just go away.

    Save a cow, eat a vegitarian!
    tjbaudio
    I have a mild form of Dyslexia that affects my ability to spell. I do use spell checking to help but it does not always work. My form of Dyslexia does not affect my reading. Dyslexics of the world untie!

    www.incertclevername.com

  12. #12
    DIY Senior Member chris8796's Avatar
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    I personally wouldn't want a switching type system in the house. I think the easyiest and most code friendly solution is to move your water use outside and combine it with passive drain distribution system (leech field like system). Move your prep sink and shower outside, I've seen several of these type systems in warm climates and with more "outdoor living" designs. It also makes it easier to prevent mishaps, like emptying the dish washer output into it.

  13. #13
    Master Plumber Mario's Avatar
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    It could be done pretty easily.
    They make a self enclosed under-sink pump system for use in doctors offices or rooms a long way from a sanitary drain system.
    I've worked on these at hospitals. They are about four gallons or so and have a built in pump and float system.

    You could unhook the standard drain side of your two compartment kitchen sink and place one of these under the sink.
    The side that has your garbage disposal you would leave hooked up single to the house sanitary drain system, but the other side run into this enclosure and pipe it to your garden.

    Piece of cake. It comes on and pumps when you run water into it and shuts off automatically.

    As for it being advisable.....that is another matter.
    Sounds to me like a recipe for disaster.
    Remember the salmonella outbreaks the last couple of years?
    They said salmonella infected sweat from migrant farm workers dripped on the vegetables, and people who ate them got infected.

    Chicken has almost always got some salmonella in it.
    You pump that food prep water onto your vegetable garden and you could infect everyone who eats them.

    The rainwater idea sounds real good though.
    I've heard there is nothing better for you plants than real rainwater.
    There could be alot to that.
    Last edited by Mario; 06-20-2009 at 08:18 PM.

  14. #14
    Extreme DIY Homeowner Scuba_Dave's Avatar
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    PETA gave the president a hard time for killing a fly
    I ate a Vegan once, she told me afterwards when we went out to dinner
    I'm using rainwater, lining up a 500g tank to collect water
    I already have (5) 55g drums
    I'd like to be able to use the rainwater to refill the toilets
    Seems a shame to use drinking water to do this

    I'm not into using waste water from the house
    Except catching the water from running the tub/shower until it gets hot is a good idea. I keep trying to tell my wife to wash her hands in cold water, or at least use the kitchen sink which is above the water heater area - instead of the bathroom at the opposite end of the house
    DIY Handyman (not 4 hire)
    I have enough to do to my own house

  15. #15
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Most people think rainwater is pretty clean, well not always! Rain always forms around something, most often a mold spore, but also pollen and other specs of dirt and other crud. Yes, most of it is water, but let it sit for awhile, and it can fester pretty nasty.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

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