One of the things that’s persistently nagged at me a little is how to deal with our waste or ‘grey’ water.
We have a giant roof area too that.. at the back of the house at least… gave us a torrent of rainwater down a gutter, stopping 4ft from the ground and spurting out onto a wall… nicely eroding the pointing and making the inside wall damp! To complement the look we also have a 2m2 halo of moss on the wall brought about by the perfect moss-growing conditions!
So, last year I bought a small (300l) water-butt hooked it up to the main downpipe and that allowed us to at least cache some of the rainwater that would otherwise be lost.
So, it’s a start but big things are afoot with all of this so here’s the plan.
- Dig up giant hydrangea.
- Install 2x 15 litre ‘regards’ in hole left by former plant. These will allow me to plumb in all manner of subterranean pipework
- Dig up concrete terrace that was inconventiently in the way of the uber-plan. Bah.
- Lay new network of pipes enabling us to install new bathrooms, seperate septic and grey water systems.
- Dig giant hole in ground to cache 300l of grey water in subterranean tank.
- Rig a network of pipes to catch any rainwater overflow from the roof into it’s own over-ground water butt and for this to overflow into the grey water tank. This will give us 600 litres of storage at the house.
- Rig the grey water tank with an autonomous pump (with float switch cutoff) for trickle irrigation for the orchard, herb garden and cut flowers.
- Rig the grey water system with an overflow that will feed directly into the land-drain – so should the system reach it’s 600l capacity (storm surge or sustained heavy downpour) then the excess will be taken down to a proper drain field.
Phew. Sound complicated? It’s not too bad and I hope some pictures will help explain things as we make progress.
All of this will deliver us plenty of benefits
- A new downstairs toilet and shower room.
- The capability to have an upstairs loo, and bathroooms and a bath
- The capability to save all of our grey water from hand basins, showers, bathrooms
- Stop the rainwater totally knackering the back of the house and localised flooding/damp
- Feel good factor from knowing that we’re doing our bit environmentally and money saved.
Our water consumption last year was 145m3. A significant chunk of this went on watering plants and flowers I know… so this year my goal is to significantly reduce this… it’s not so much the cost but also the environmental waste of just letting the rainwater go nowhere and letting the grey water just vanish… it can all be put to good use. Also, I’d hope that the savings will in time show a reasonable return on investment. As ever more posts and pics to follow.