Greywater can be harvested in several ways depending on its source and intended use. That said, there are several types of greywater systems some of which include laundry-to-landscape, laundry drum, branched drain, pumped systems, constructed wetlands etc.
In cases where gravity cannot be relied on to transport greywater to the desired area, for instance if the area is flat or it slopes upwards, a pumped system will be required. A basic pumped system is made up of a large plastic water barrel in which a pump that pushes greywater through the irrigation lines. The barrel can either be placed at ground level or buried. This type of greywater system is not usually recommended as it increases the cost of electricity, and the pump may break.
This is one of the most effective ‘ecological’ ways to dispose of greywater. It is of great use in homesteads that produce more greywater than they need to irrigate. By filtering particles and absorbing nutrients in greywater, constructed wetlands make it possible to store greywater for longer periods of time. Those who have nowhere to direct greywater can benefit from this system that helps to safely clean up and store greywater. Constructed wetlands aren’t recommended for those who live in arid areas as they use up a lot of water that can otherwise be used for irrigation.
Invented by Art Ludwig, this system uses standard drainage pipes to drain greywater by the sheer force of gravity at a slope of 2%. A plumbing fitting is used to split the flow and divide the water into smaller and smaller quantities. Each branch has a final outlet that leads into a mulched basin, thus irrigating the root zone of plants. While they do require a lot of install, they require minimal maintenance in the long term.
Also invented by Art Ludwig, this system requires minimal maintenance and gives homeowners control over what can be irrigated. The system is constructed by simply attaching a diverter valve to the washing machine drain hose. The diverter valve allows you to switch between the greywater irrigation system and the septic drainage system. Additional advantages of this system include minimal cost, flexibility for irrigation and easy installation.
This is a great solution for homeowners who are hesitant to invest in a more costly greywater system or where the hardscape (patio or concrete) between the area to be irrigated and the house is large. In this greywater system, all the greywater is pumped into a large surge tank or barrel and is drained to the irrigation area through a hose that is attached to the barrel at the bottom. While it is the cheapest greywater system, the hose requires to be moved frequently to increase effectiveness.
To learn more about greywater systems available today, enroll at Open Permaculture School or check Regenerative Leadership Institute.
The world population has been on the rise in the recent past. This has put pressure on the available resources including water and food production. Moreover, human beings have encroached into water catchment areas and further led to the drying of many water bodies.
One way to deal with the problem is to encourage people to utilize more of the rainwater and less of the piped water. According to Open Permaculture School and Regenerative Leadership Institute, which offers, training in various areas environmental and water management, this kind of water conservation techniques lift the pressure on the available water resources and ensure that all have enough water. Below are ways that the authorities can promote the utilization of rainfall water.
Systematic promotion approach
Municipal authorities should make domestic water catchment, utilization, water conservation, and reclamation of wastewater a part of the regulations and ordinances. There should some form of material standardization for easy maintenance and replacement.
The authorities should come up with various policies to make the utilization of rainwater a part of the social system. For the social perspective to work, the leadership must take charge and promote the ideal of independence, reduced costs, safe water, and restoration of the natural hydrological cycle in the area by utilizing the rainfall water. The authorities can also consider the idea of subsidizing the rainfall water catchment facilities to spur interest and acceptance of the idea.
Training and Technology
The idea of rainfall water utilization can only work if there are working technologies that are available in a given area. The leadership can support innovative technologies in water catchment. This can encourage more technologies to energy and better solutions to be found on rainfall utilization.
In addition, the leadership can encourage human resources development and encourage technology to support the innovative rainfall utilization solutions. Facilities and devices that make it easy to collect and conserve the water should be encouraged and supported.
Facilitating the networking of people that matter in the water sector is important for the overall success of the program. A network should be made that involves the government administrators, equipment manufacturers, plumbers, citizens and architects among others. The networks can be used as avenues to develop ideas and spread the message on the benefits of using rainwater for home and industrial use.
By combining several approaches, the regional governments as well as the national government can create awareness and encourage the use of rainwater in various areas. This reduces the headache of planning for dwindling water resources and gives independence to residents on the generation and use of water.
Q: Can greywater be stored?
A: Greywater shouldn’t be stored for long periods of time, only a maximum of 24 hours is allowed. It is completely understandable that you may feel intuitive when you use greywater for the first time as the rules of using freshwater don’t apply at all. The main reason behind the storage restriction is that greywater contains organic matter and dirt particles which if stored for long, use up oxygen in water and the result is a pungent smell. And while it is possible to treat greywater to allow it to stay in storage for longer, it is impractical since fresh water is generated every day.
Q: Can you use water from a dishwasher?
A: Dishwashers are not a great source of greywater mainly because detergents used often contain high levels of salts that are harmful to soil and plants. If you use dishwasher detergent that doesn’t contain any boron or salts, then it’s okay to reuse greywater from the dishwasher.
Q: How can you flush toilets with greywater?
A: The easiest way to flush your toilet with greywater is the bucket method where you lift the toilet lid and dump greywater from a bucket into the toilet directly. There’s also a simple system known as sink positive which is made up a toilet lid with a faucet. In this system, the flush water flows through the sink lid and fills the toilet tank. Other greywater systems for flushing toilets are more complex and costly, and as such aren’t recommended unless they are intended for large scale use.
Q: How much does a greywater system cost?
A: The cost of greywater systems varies depending on several factors including who is installing it, size of the yard as well as how simple or complex the alteration of the plumbing system is. If you are working with a limited budget, you can reduce the cost by doing some of the work yourself. With that in mind, here the average costs for different types of greywater systems; laundry-to-landscape – $700-$2,000, branched drain – $800-$3,000, pumped system – $1,000-$4,000 and automated pump systems – $5,000-$20,000.
Q: Will a laundry-to-landscape system hurt the washing machine? What about the warranty?
A: As long as it’s installed properly by a qualified professional, a laundry-to-landscape greywater system won’t do any harm to your washing machine. This system won’t affect the rate of wear and tear. It’s also important to note that there is no exact safe greywater system for all washing machines due to the variation of machines and landscapes. In regard to the warranty, a good laundry-to-landscape system shouldn’t void it.
For more question you can visit Regenerative Leadership Institute site.
Life on earth was better in our past because machines and equipment’s were not present at that time. Use of non-renewable sources was less and because of that pollution was not there. Diseases were less in number at that time but on the other hand leading life was hard because works which are completed today in seconds because of machines used to take many hours in our past.
This shows that everything which has got a positive aspect in our life also has got a negative aspect. Today excess machines are present in our homes and offices which are dealing with our works easily and are making our lives easier and safer from many working hazards. But it is also true that working hazards are gone because of machines but today there are many different types of hazards have arrived in our lives because of machines and the harmful gases they omit after taking non-renewable sources of energy.
Today, there is a need of sustainable development in our world. Sustainable development is said to be that development in which non-renewable sources of energy are used in less and renewable sources of energy are used more which help the other sources of energy to last for a longer period of time and also helps the environment to remain healthy and free from pollution.
Many organizations and institutes are working on this and trying to make people aware of the problems which they will face in their future if the non-renewable sources of energy will get extinct from our earth. There are many different techniques which these organizations are providing people along with governmental organizations.
Best Technique In Getting Sustainable Development
Out of number of processes and techniques, the permaculture is said to be the best one. It is said to be that science which is made sustainably by keeping in mind the different changing patterns of nature. People are taught to use those sources of energy which do not pollute the environment instead help in keeping in healthy and safe for human survival.
Processes That Are Becoming Popular
This technique provides us different processes like rainwater harvesting, grey water, composting and mulching. These processes are used by many organizations and NGO’s in making better sources of energy which are better and also do not pollute the environment. The different renewable sources of energy like water or wind and even the sunlight is used in this technique for running machines which are important for humans.
So, people who are still using the non-renewable sources of energy for running machines in their homes and offices in order to make their lives easier should stop that and should start using the renewable sources of energy. By using renewable sources of energy, they will stop the pollution that is going on in this world and also will help in keeping the non-renewable sources of energy for future generations. Regenerative Leadership Institute is the best among the institutes in providing people with knowledge about sustainable development.
If someone told me that he had a bee garden, I would think that he is a bit crazy. This would happen only if I wasn’t interested in permaculture. Because I am interested in permaculture I know what bee garden is and sharing this with you will be my pleasure.
Permaculture, in a way, can be explained by the law of equivalent exchange, which means that for the amount of something you give, you will receive equal amount of something else in return. I say this because in order to live in harmony with nature, you have to give your hard work into maintaining natural ( permacultural ) systems. And by including bees into a permaculture system, you receive more in the form of honey. If you ever go on a bicycle tour organized by Vladislav Davidzon you will witness that in many permaculture communities. Urban Permaculture Institute has a procject Sustainable Agriculture Program.
How to Attract Bees To Your Garden
You know what bees do, and explaining that is quite stupid thing to do. Now you may not know that bees eat food they gather while returning it to the apiary. And if there is no food for them available in near vicinity of hive they have to travel longer distances to gather pollen. This can be bad for both bees and beekeepers, because they return to the apiary with less pollen and because of that less of it goes into the production of honey. It is a fact that if a bee has to travel over 5 km to the nearest pollen source, they won’t return anything to the apiary and thus no honey will be produced.
Because of this, permaculturist found a good way of creating pollen sources for bees that are near the apiary. Of course, they don’t raze their food gardens in order to provide food source for bees, but in fact they plant flowers in their food gardens. This can be tricky business because of few factors.
You have to choose flowers that won’t take too much from soil and disrupt the growth of other plants. Then you have to know what flowers bees use to make honey, and with these two conditions they find what flowers fit them and those flowers are planted.
Now let me give you few tips if you plan on including bees into your permaculture system, garden or something bigger, it doesn’t matter, this applies to everything.
First you should think about number of different species of flowers for the bees. There should be a balance between exotic species and native plants. Because of different features of those plants, for exotic plants pick those with medicinal and culinary properties and native plants for their increased drought resistance, your honey will be superb.
Avoid using pesticides at any cost. You can end up with dead bees because of this, or they could get sick, or they will bring those pesticides into the honey and you don’t want that. Well, if your garden is being maintained through permaculture principles and designs, then you have no need for pesticides, and if you use them then don’t plant flowers for bees, you will just end up poisoning them.
If you haven’t been on one of the courses of well-known permaculturist Vladislav Davidzon, which attended the best permaculture school, about making compost for your plants then this is right place to be.
- Green/ Brown – Green and brown is all about quantity in the compost mixture It is basically a ratio of materials you need in your compost. Green are fresh ingredients while brown represents dry and carbon-rich ingredients. Best ratio is 50 : 50 but it doesn’t have to be exactly that.
- Hot/ Cold refers to type of compost you are making. Cold type compost is made by gathering materials and leaving them to the nature. While hot compost making is a bit more complicated.
- The Berkeley Method is a well-known hot type technique of making compost. There are few things that make this technique better than cold one. It is far quicker than cold compost making, temperatures kill seeds you don’t want, while they flourish in a cold compost and it can be used for a type of heating (but that is not a reason we are here ).
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Now here you shall see steps for making hot compost. Few things apart from ingredients are required, space, lot of water and a material you will use to cover the mixture while its rotting.
- Material gathering and position of a pile
Because it will need turning you should choose a place where you can put 2 piles of compost ( you will use only one, but that extra space is for turning ). Best thing to use in compost making are by-products from your other activities. This way you avoid destruction of nature and you salvage by-products you would usually throw away.
- Ingredient mixing
For this step you need two tools, shovel or pitchfork. Use a tool you have chosen to put layer upon layer of mixture to a designated place. Add both green and brown ingredients in equal portions to ensure mixing. You can add manure in this mix, it will increase the quality of compost. While doing this add water on pile from time to time.
- Cover and let it rot
When your pile reaches one square meter size mixing is over. Once more pour water on a pile and shape it with a tool ( it doesn’t have to be art work, this is only to compress ingredients a bit better which will increase rot rate ) then use material you designed for covering and cover the pile. You can use rocks or something else heavy to secure the cover.
- Turn it over
After 4 days turn the pile. Take layer after layer (from top) and place it to a free space in such manner that top layer becomes bottom and so on. Water it as you did before. Cover it again
- Repeat previous step
Step 4 should be done at least 7 more times, 2 days time between every turning.
If you followed all steps at the end you should have a high quality compost for your plants to flourish in.