Greywater System Design Coordination

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Getting Clear on Greywater Additional Information and Resources © 2007 With a “Landscape Direct,” “Drain Out Back,” ã Following principles of ecological design always improves overall “Laundry Drum,” or “Drumless Laundry” system, outcome, especially with greywater. you can get some benefits with much less work. You’ll ã Optimized greywater systems are the most “systems design intenonly need a bit of the info that follows, which is geared sive” of common green technologies—more th
  Simple, Easy Greywater Systems With a “Landscape Direct,” “Drain Out Back,”Laundry Drum,” or “Drumless Laundry” system,you can get some benefits with much less work. You’llonly need a bit of the info that follows, which is gearedtowards higher performance greywater systems. 100+ Pages of Free Info on Greywater Greywater and Rainwater Books Benefits of Reusing Greywater ã Lower fresh water useã Less strain on septic tank or treatment plantã Highly effective purificationã Can work in sites unsuitable for a septic tank ã Less energy and chemical useã Plant growthã Reclamation of otherwise wasted nutrientsã Increased connection to natural cycles Ecological Systems Design ã Following principles of ecological design always improves overalloutcome, especially with greywater.ã Optimized greywater systems are the most “systems design inten-sive” of common green technologies—more than solar, compostingtoilets, edible landscaping, etc.ã There are more variables to take into account, and a change in manyof these produces a bigger change in the design than is common. “Optimizing components in isolation tends to pessimize the wholeystem.”  Paul Hawken, Amory & L. Hunter Lovins ã Start at the widest, global view of the context, get clear on goals,then zoom into to the details, and forward in time. Keep an eye onthe big picture.ã Ecological systems design: Greywater System Checklists Getting Clear on Greywater Additional Information and Resources © 2007       ã Locate appropriate plants to craft microclimates, provide food, privacy, and fire safetyã Coordinate with runoff from rain on site, runoff entering from off siteã Adjust landscape elevationsã Install plants and distribution plumbing...each GW zone w/ corresponding irrigation zone,which can be turned off independently to actualize water savingsã Amend soil, add mulchã Define seasonal tasks and irrigation modes � ã Route downspouts to irrigated areas for rainwater flushingã Design gutters and downspouts for filtration, pressure if necessary   ã Water-wise habitsã Materials management: reuse of compost, excreta, mulch, brushfirewoodã Selection of cleaners, divert GWwhen using something nastyã Seasonal adjustmentsã Maintenanceã Gardening   ã Site house uphill from irrigated area (as basic as facingthe building south for solar)ã Raised floors so the plumbing can exit at gradeã Accessible plumbing, e.g., in a crawlspaceã Efficient fixtures in workable locationsã Passive solar greenhouseã Roof rainwater plan and cistern locationã Excreta management systemã Water supply coordination  ã Rise above role of policing for cheating on minimum standards, andfulfill potential as advocate/resource for builders who are investingeffort to reduce the overall impacts from the built environmentã Ensure that systems are designed and built well, using performance of familiar systems as an indicator of quality of unfamiliar systems  ã Ensure that plumbing togreywater spec isfacilitated by masonryand carpentry  ã Plumb as high as possible, conservingfall along the whole length of the pipesto get outlets in proper position/height.This can take twice as much time but isessential to enable irrigation close to thehouse—adjust your bidã Plumb diversions downstream fromtraps and ventsã Plumbing GW lines totally separatelyuntil outside the house is a good way togo; essential if under slab. Vents may becombinedã Diverter valve(s), overflow toseptic/sewer �� ã Assess goals, context, and resourcesã Design greywater system and connections withother systemsã Decide early to “lump” or “split” collectionplumbing  ã Clearly articulate goalsã Back up greywater system designer in fightswith architect, plumber, contractor, etc.  ���  � ������� Greywater System Design Coordination   Water supply Greywater system design starts with thecharacteristics of the water supply system.The most ecological water supply relies:ã Primarily on rainwaterã Secondarily on reused waterã Lastly on surface or groundwaterhttp://harvestingrainwater.com Guidelines for relating well withthe natural water cycle 1) Leave as much as possible of the work tonature — The more humans intervene, the morelikely the overall system will get thrown out of whack2) Improve several problems with one design;include comprehensive as well as specialistperspectives —  Much bigger improvement fromimproving connections between systems than from improving systems themselves3) Divert a small amount of water  4) Divert just after natural purification, solittle or no additional treatment is need-ed — Springs, rainwater harvesting, wells, sand filtration5) Divert from an elevation above the usepoint, or as little below as possible, so lessenergy is needed for pumping — Low pres-sure plumbing6) Use water efficiently — REDUCE comes beforereuse in the hierarchy of ecological materialsmanagementAlways consider efficient fixtures before lookingto reuse water from themSequence uses so water cascades from those useswhich require the cleanest water to those whichtolerate the dirtiestUse ultra-efficient fixtures, eg., wood burningbathtub, eco luxury bathing chamber7) Add used water and nutrients back intothe natural water cycle just before naturalpurification — Greywater systems, compostingtoilets, branched drain septic systems, compost,mulch, firewood...8) Absorb all runoff —   Permeable surfaces, vegeta-tion cover, mulch, basins and swales9) Rigorously confine incompatible materials(motor oil, solvents) to their own industrialcycles — Add to water only a moderate quantityof substances which biodegrade into plant nutri-ents or non-toxins and nothing else Six factors for good natural purification of water or wastewater Observing engineered and wild water systems, clearly we’re bestoff doing it as much like nature as possible. Here are design prin-ciples for ecological water treatment: 1) Plenty of contact time — The longer the water is in contact with benefi-cial bacteria and plant roots, the better. To increase contact time , reducethe flow rate and or increase area.2) Plenty of micro surface contact — The more micro surface with benefi-cial bacteria growing on it the better, and the more plant roots, the better.oamy soil has thousands of times more surface area than gravel. Avoidbulk flow; percolation is millions of times better for treatment.3) Moisture, oxygen and nutrient levels which support growth/sur-ival of roots and bacteria — If the system is totally dry long enough for the bacteria and roots to die, then gets spike loading, then is dry again,the treatment won’t be as good.If the soil is saturated (no air) for more than 24 hours, the dissolvedxygen will be consumed. 4) Apply wastewater as close as possible to the soil surface, withoutcausing an unsanitary condition on the surface — The top of thesoil has a purification capacity thousands of times greater than three feetdown, because there is more life at the surface.5) Appropriate plants as nutrient sinks — ou don’t have to worry aboutthe bacteria—if the conditions are right, one will turn into trillions.However, it is generally helpful to actively manage plants to ensure thereare the right number of the right kind.Evergreen plants are active all year.If you expect constant, water saturated conditions, use wetland plants,hich pump oxygen out their roots.6) Warmth — The warmer it is, the better the treatment. The rule of thumbis that for each additional 10°C you get twice the treatment. More resources ã Greywater Policy Center: Includes greywater laws and needed improvements, Cottonwood greywa-ter stub out ordinance. ã Inspection checklist for collection/stub out plumbing:ã Green septic system (no written material available-contact Oasis fordesign consult:ã Advanced Treatment:http://www.orenco.comã Edible landscaping: Plant list .ã Rainwater harvesting: Good for flushing salts from soil ã Arizona Greywater Harvesting tax credit: Click on “credit pre-certification” on the lefthand side of the home page, then on “gray water conservation tax credit.”There is general information and applications for corporations and forindividuals .ã Oasis biocompatible laundry and dishwashing detergent:ã Source for three way valves and flow splitters:For flow splitters with ready-made inspection ports see Designoasis@oasisdesign.nethttp://oasisdesign.net805 967-9956 Brad Lancaster
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