Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Set Up Gray Water Recycling

You can reuse the gray water from the washing machine.

Gray water is wastewater from within the household, such as from dishwashers, sinks, showers and bathtubs. While it can be safely recycled for use within the garden, you must remember not to save gray water from washing diapers or toilets and not to use gray water on edible plants. Benefits to recycling gray water include decreasing the cost of fresh water in the home, as you can use gray water in the yard and garden, and it also reduces the strain on septic systems and water treatment plants. One of the ways to recycle gray water is to divert it from the laundry machine to outside. Does this Spark an idea?


1. Attach the first length of PVC pipe to the standpipe already in place. It should reach to the top of the washing machine.

2. Attach a 90-degree bend to the PVC pipe. To this, attach the 1-inch three-way diverter valve and another 90-degree bend, aiming this bend toward the wall behind the washing machine.

3. Reroute the washing machine drain hose from the standpipe to the diverter valve. Attach it to the diverter valve using the barb to pipe-thread adapter.

4. Thread the second 90-degree bend outside, through the wall behind the washing machine. Directly outside the wall, extending at least 2 meters above the tee at the high point of the line, use an auto vent and two more 90-degree bends to create a vacuum break. From the vacuum break, attach the last 90 degree bend, aiming it toward the ground.

5. Attach the second length of PVC pipe, which should reach almost to the ground, to the last 90 degree bend. Use a garden hose to make a hose service connection, which makes tuning the outlets easier.

6. Attach the see-through swing check valve as a backflow preventer if the drain line can be lifted, or runs, above the height of the washer. Connect the distribution plumbing or third length of PVC pipe.

7. Create your mulch basin by overturning the 5-gallon flower pot and placing the paving stone marker on top. Place the mulch basin lower in the landscape than the pipe, and give it at least 18 inches of cover.

8. Thread the distribution plumbing into the mulch basin. Make small holes, or outlets, in the area of pipe that will be inside the basin watering the landscape.

Tags: washing machine, gray water, 90-degree bend, diverter valve, length pipe