Practical Graywater Systems

The object of recycling graywater is to make the organic nutrients in the water available to plants and microorganisms, preferably on a continuous basis. The organisms will consume the organic material, thereby recycling it through the natural system.

It is estimated that 30 gallons of graywater per person per day will be produced from a water-conservative home. This graywater can be recycled either indoors or outdoors. Inside buildings, graywater can be filtered through deep soil beds, or shallow gravel beds, in a space where plants can be grown, such as in a greenhouse.

Outdoors, in colder climates, graywater can be drained into leaching trenches that are deep enough to resist freezing, but shallow enough to keep the nutrients within the root zones of surface plants. Freezing can be prevented by applying a mulch over the subsurface leaching trenches. Graywater can also be circulated through constructed wetlands (Figures 9.4, 9.5 and 9.6), mulch basins (Figure 9.8), and soilbeds (Figures 9.8, 9.9, 9.10 and 9.11).

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