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Hello we own a home in Russia and it averages around 15 below c there, and they say the frost line is 4.5 feet deep.  We have an aration septic system that is supposed to eat up things with bacteria.  But we have 9 people in our family and I think the system is overloading (especially in the winter the bacteria work slower). Thus going back soon I want to install a grey line out back.

Here is what I am thinking, please help if you can. Basically send the water from tubs, sinks, and washing machine out back through a 4 inch drainage tube starting at about 40 cm below the surface at the homes edge, then a gradual downhill to a pit (6 ft diameter, and 6 ft deep). Then place gravel on the bottom (15 cm) and big truck tires inside, around the truck tires place more gravel, and bricks between tires to allow water to go outward. The whole system will simply drain into the surround soil (the top 3ft has sand, then clay for 3ft).  I think I will add some fingers (about 4) off of the main pit (4ft in length), to provide extra drainage area (contact with sand soil).

My only concern is that the grey water will clog up the soil blocking drainage, or it will freeze in the winter, or that the soaps detergents could make their way to our water supply (a thin well – 8 inch diameter- 60 ft deep is where we hit water). My proposed grey water pit will only be about 50 feet on the surface from where the well is.  If you know what you are talking about please respond with your thoughts about this plan or a better plan.  Blessings to you.

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I’m wondering if you’ve considered investing in efficient fixtures/appliances to reduce the flow going into your existing system. If you haven’t installed ultra-low flow fixtures and toilets, you will be able to greatly reduce the amount of water being used (by around 35%). That alone may solve your over-loaded system issues.

I don’t have specific comments on your design, but the more you can screen out solids inside the house the fewer will get into the greywater system (put a screen on the shower drain and a screen over the laundry drain hose).

In California, where I live, greywater infiltration areas are supposed to be 100 feet from a drinking water well. It sounds like your existing septic system may be just as close to your well as the proposed greywater system, and if this is the case I wouldn’t worry about putting the greywater within 50 feet (if your septic is also in that range).

Another general recommendation is to keep the greywater infiltration area as close to the surface as you can (but staying below the freeze line). You may want to look into use infiltration chambers made for septic systems as an alternative to the pit.

 

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