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Hey everyone – thank you for having this forum available to ask questions.

We are trying to figure out a better way to filter food particles out of the water that is coming from our kitchen sink.  I realize kitchen sink water is blackwater.  We are vegan and trying to save every bit we can. We have a filtration tank and pump and it gets clogged too quickly with the kitchen sink particles.

We have a mesh strainer in the drain, but some food is slipping under it and the mesh isn’t small enough to catch everything.  We are also using mesh food strainers to rinse plates off into, but again, the fine mesh isn’t fine enough.  I am wondering if anyone has found a good sink drain strainer that adheres to the sink and has really fine mesh?  Also, any other ideas for keeping the food particles out of the drain when rinsing?  I am thinking of using a nutmilk bag or pantyhose, but the logistics of cleaning it aren’t quite as easy as something firm like a strainer.  I saw this Youtube video   from some students at Humboldt and like the idea, but can’t find any guides for how to build it.

Thanks for your time in reading this and I appreciate in thoughts.

Zak

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Hi Zak,

It depends on what state you live in if kitchen water is considered greywater, dark greywater, or blackwater. As you know, kitchen sink water can be a great source of irrigation water, though the grease and food particles present some challenges with the system design.

I always had problems trying to filter my kitchen sink greywater before it entered the irrigation system, I tried many different DIY filters. We also had a fine mesh drainer in the sink but food particles consistently got past it and out into the system. My personal solution was to bypass the need for a filter and send the kitchen water into a branched drain system using mulch basins, which are in-ground woodchip filters. The larger pipe diameter in a branched drain system obviates the need to remove the particles from the water beforehand, and the woodchip filter in-ground allows the food to compost naturally. The basins require maintenance about twice a year (removing the composted woodchips and food and adding in fresh woodchips).

If you aren’t able to totally redesign your system I would consider spending the extra money to get a real grease trap, like those used in commercial kitchens. They also make ones to intercept solids.  The filter in the CCAT video looks manufactured, you could probably write them and ask what it is and how it’s been working for them.

Good luck with your system!

 

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Hi Laura –

Thanks for the quick reply.  I am in California and I thought kitchen water was still considered blackwater here.  Hopefully that has changed or will change soon.

Wow!  A solids interceptor would be great!  I was not familiar with that concept.  I checked out the link you sent and the company looks like they are based in Canada.  Is that a company you have experience with or was it just an example?

Great idea to contact the CCAT video folks.  I will work on that.

One other questions….about laundry…we have a lot of pet hair that gets dumped from our washer into the drainpipe and ends up in our tank and clogs the filters.  I am trying to figure out a way to try to filter some of it before it gets to the tank.  I tried a lint bag and it worked great at first, but then a clump of pet hair got perfectly wedged between the pipe and the bag and we ended up with a big mess on the laundry room floor.  Unless we monitor each load as it is draining, I feel it can happen any time no matter how I put the bag in.  Any suggestion or ideas?

Thanks again!

Zak

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Hi Zak,

Current regulations in CA still consider kitchen water as blackwater, though hopefully this will change soon!

The link I sent was just an example, there are many companies that make grease traps and interceptors. An installer I know used this one: Endura brand http://http://www.supplyhouse.com/Endura-Grease-Traps-1256000, maybe they also make the solids interceptor, you’ll have to check.

Regarding lint from the laundry: I’m a huge fan of using larger greywater outlets to obviate the need for a filter, like a laundry to landscape system. If you can’t alter the system design, this type of filter is designed for the washing machine and removes lint. It would prevent the potential for overflow!

Best,

Laura

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