Wednesday, October 15, 2014

The Beginnings of the Grey Water System

Check it out! I have a sink with plumbing, well at least the drain pipe portion of the plumbing. Last weekend I installed the sink and I used it with just a bucket under it all week. I felt like a queen being able to wash dishes in the sink (geez, never thought I would say that!). It is much easier to cook and then clean up when you don't have to worry about carrying a heavy container of dirty water outside afterward.

The plumbing under the sink is done in the usual manner. I used plumbers putty around the drain lip before installation and Teflon tape around the threads to make leak-proof connections. Drilling a hole in the wall, I pushed the pipe through and used flanges (unfortunately I only found them in chrome, so I will be spray spray painting them) and I will use a silicon caulk to make the hole air, rodent, and insects from passing through. I still have to insulate, run the water lines in, and install the wallboard under the sink, so I am not going to add silicone just yet, but for now I have a draining sink! For now it will drain outside, directed into the forest that surrounds the building, however eventually it will be connected to the grey water pipe system and water my raised garden beds. Water will come in, be used, and then cycle out to water the garden. All things running as planned, drought will be less of an issue for my gardens each summer.

The place where I built the Shouse sits up on a hill, the place where the raised beds will eventually be built and planted is down low on the property about 300 feet away on the adjacent 2 acres. Theoretically it is simple, as gravity will do all the work to transport the water to the beds. Realistically the challenges will be how to best evenly distribute the water to all the beds, how to keep food particles from clogging the weep holes, and keeping chemicals that are harmful from the system. Despite the logistics of the entire operation, I am confident that grey water is the only ecologically sound and practical solution to recycling the waste water and keeping the garden well hydrated in the dead of summer.

I never thought I would be so excited over a simple drain!