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hi there, all you water-wise folks,

I’m on this forum in hopes of finding a 4-season solution for my greywater that is currently being routed via a standard hose out to an open air drain (no treatment/filter) from my airstream. I’ve been using this primitive means to reroute my greywater for 4 years and I’m finally ready for a more permanent solution for filtering my greywater. I live in Asheville, NC where we experience freezing temperatures during winter months. In the past, my hose has frozen and I’ve had to remove hose completely, meaning my greywater drains straight into the ground below a pvc drain, which is right under my trailer. I’m hoping to install a better system for treating/filtering my greywater before returning to the ground that also does not freeze during the winter. I’ve thought about extending the current  pvc drain straight down (no water pooling) into a buried 55gal barrel underground below frost line. My thoughts are to put phases of aggregate (gravel, sand, brick, potentially) into the barrel for the water to drain through. At the bottom of this barrel, I’ve thought about having a drain line that drains back to open air (I’m on a slope so could work with gravity) or I’ve also thought about having a mulch basin around the base of the barrel that water could then drain into and then percolate back into the ground, all below frost line. Can I get some feedback on these ideas? I also welcome any of your ideas. This is new territory for me and I’m eager to learn from others experience.

Kindly,

Erika

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Hi Erika,

I don’t live in a frost prone area but do have a GW system in an RV. I always leave the GW tank open and send the water directly to my garden. This is through PVC. I feel that since you would not have any sitting water, there should be no problems. Not sure how filtering would benefit you in this case and it will complicate your system substantially.

Second part to this is that I have a composting toilet so the Black Water is a mute point.

 

Hope this helps and don’t hesitate to chime in again.

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Hi Erika,

I agree with Sergio, if you keep your pipes sloped so there is no standing water you should be fine in the winter. I would skip the filter, and just direct the flow into a mulched area, perhaps using a half-round infiltrator chamber to keep you below ground a half foot or so. Depending on how much flow you may want two or three basins to soak up the water.  Use double quarter bends (aka double ells) to split the flow, like in a branched drain system.

 

Good luck with your system!

 

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Hi Sergio and Laura,

thank you for your responses. This is helpful and a lot less complicated than I had imagined it being. I think my filter idea was over engineered and unnecessary, especially as I use only biodegradable products and won’t be reusing this water. I have the water wise book so will consult this for materials for the install. I’m having troubles figuring out how to upload pictures here to this forum but once I get this new system installed, I’ll try and post pictures of the install and final product. A question that comes up for me when I consider what could go wrong is debris build up at the drain point. In my mind, I imagine the pvc coming out into a mulched area, not above a mulched area. I imagine the drain coming into the mulched area 18 inches below ground level so as to avoid freezing. If this is the case, how to I avoid the build up of inevitable debris around this drain point? Thanks again for your feedback.

kindly,

Erika

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Hi Erika,

Pages 83, 92, 99 of The Water-wise Home show good examples of how the mulch basins and emitters would look.

It would seem to me that you don’t need to worry about the frost area as the water will never be sitting in the pipes, only flow through. The tubing needs to have a shield to separate it from the mulch. That way you don’t get clogged emitters because of roots or debris building up. It’s an air gap.

Again, I’m no expert with frost zones…

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Cool. This is helpful.  I’ll look through those pages. Thanks Sergio.

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