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    • CommentAuthorTriassic
    • CommentTimeApr 21st 2012
     
    With the current water shortage I was considering piping the bath and shower water into a butt and using it for watering the garden.

    Is this a good idea - Pros and cons?

    Anyone got any links to research on the subject?
    • CommentAuthorborpin
    • CommentTimeApr 21st 2012
     
    Did this in '76. Mum's washing machine emptied into the bath then syphoned out through the window into another old tin bath. We didn't die.....

    However, here in Scotland - really isn't an issue :bigsmile::bigsmile:
    • CommentAuthorEd Davies
    • CommentTimeApr 21st 2012
     
    Probably fine if you use it promptly. If you let “raw” grey water sit for a while it'll get pretty smelly and 'orrible.
  1.  
    CAT have, or had, a good tip-sheet on grey-water use, incl sand filters, if I remember rightly. The gist, I think, was use soon, and not too much as to leave a scum of soap and bits of skin all over your flowers ( was going to say veg patch, but can't remember what they said re edibles).
  2.  
    Posted By: Ed DaviesProbably fine if you use it promptly. If you let “raw” grey water sit for a while it'll get pretty smelly and 'orrible.


    I am considering installing an eco-play ( www.ecoplay-systems.com ) to reuse the bath water for loo flushing. That seems to work by re-using the grey water within a few hours so it doesn't get a chance to go smelly and horrible. Anyone have experience of using a grey water system?
    •  
      CommentAuthorDamonHD
    • CommentTimeApr 21st 2012
     
    In '76 my dad watered the garden in part from a syphon from our baths. Didn't kill us either, and the second and third heads we grew are now very fashionable... B^>

    More seriously: the veg garden was a long way from the house, so I suspect that much of that grey water went on non-edibles.

    Rgds

    Damon
    • CommentAuthorSeret
    • CommentTimeApr 21st 2012
     
    Can't imagine there's much in bath and shower water apart from a very dilute amount of soap/shampoo and what's washed off you. If it's still fresh you could probably drink it with no ill effects (apart from the ick factor). I wouldn't leave it sitting in a water butt for ages though, stagnant water can get "interesting" even if it's clean to start with.

    If you've got a garden shed harvesting rainwater from the roof is another easy option, and harvesting from the roof of your house isn't difficult either. In spring you should get plenty of rainwater you can use.
    •  
      CommentAuthorjoe90
    • CommentTimeApr 21st 2012
     
    Has anyone cleaned a trap from a basin or shower?, the gunk in one of these smells foul. I wonder how any pipework used in a greywater system would fare and how long before it blocked up completely?. Its this reason why I have never considered a shower heat recovery system.
    • CommentAuthorSeret
    • CommentTimeApr 21st 2012
     
    The trap has standing water in it though, which is why it is nastier than the rest of the pipework. I've got one to clean out tomorrow. Really looking forward to that job!
    •  
      CommentAuthorjoe90
    • CommentTimeApr 21st 2012
     
    I quoted the trap as something most people will have had to deal with, as a kitchen and bathroom fitter I have had to replace lots of waste pipework that has been almost full of this gunk, and also been called out because of pipe blockages. Its just that I see any form of storage or small pipework for waste water being more trouble than its worth. I would prefer to harvest rainwater.
    •  
      CommentAuthorDamonHD
    • CommentTimeApr 21st 2012
     
    For a short-term temporary usage for this year I think you should be OK. But like joe90 I think the long-term gunk factor is a problem. I just had to unblock our kitchen drain again, and trust me we don't pour fat down it but it was still yucky with saponified gunk...

    Rgds

    Damon
    •  
      CommentAuthorJSHarris
    • CommentTimeApr 21st 2012
     
    Worth bearing in mind that grey water from a bathroom will almost certainly contain tiny trace amounts of faecal matter, which is most probably why it's often suggested you don't put it on your vegetable patch without treatment.
    •  
      CommentAuthorSteamyTea
    • CommentTimeApr 21st 2012
     
    Posted By: joe90Has anyone cleaned a trap from a basin or shower?

    I cleaned the spa bath filter at the Sheffield YMCA. I have no idea what those young men get up to but I know it is still the worse job I have every done.
  3.  
    I have plumbed a run of waste pipes for bath and shower waste only and was hoping to use the Kinspan Ezy-Filter before dropping it into our rainwater tank but it seems too easy! Does anyone know anything about this product, I have seen all these complex systems with tanks etc so wondering why this product is not more talked about, maybe it doesn't clean it enough for a rainwater tank:

    http://www.kingspan.com/kingspangroup/products_solutions/by_sector/self_build_housing/environmental/
    • CommentAuthorcontadino
    • CommentTimeApr 21st 2012
     
    If you google around, there's quite a lot of information on which plants (fruit & veg) are able to take raw grey water and which aren't.

    I reuse every possible drop of grey water, but do it on the basis of different species, different pathogens. So, grey water is used to irrigate fodder crops. Livestock poop used on veg plots (nowadays quite a bit gets run through the wormeries first. NB you need BIG wormeries to do this on any meaningful scale.)
  4.  
    Found a better link for the Ezy Filter product:
    http://www.wateractive.co.uk/products/new_greywater_recycling_filter_from_klargester

    It states "The Ezy-Filter converts soap, detergents and other impurities from bath, shower or basin water into clear water. The water can then be stored in a water butt, or passed into a rainwater harvesting tank."
    •  
      CommentAuthorSteamyTea
    • CommentTimeApr 22nd 2012
     
    Posted By: Phil.Chaddah-Dukestored in a water butt, or passed into a rainwater harvesting tank.

    Is there a difference :confused:
  5.  
    Posted By: SteamyTea
    Posted By: Phil.Chaddah-Dukestored in a water butt, or passed into a rainwater harvesting tank.

    Is there a difference
    Only in the amount you pay.

    David
    •  
      CommentAuthorjoe90
    • CommentTimeApr 23rd 2012
     
    Posted By: Phil.Chaddah-Duke
    It states "The Ezy-Filter converts soap, detergents and other impurities from bath, shower or basin water into clear water.


    Can anyone here tell me how this works, I find this hard to believe. It does not mention replacing parts, filters etc.
  6.  
    Spoke to Kingspan, seems this product is no longer available, obviously not as ezy as they thought!

    Reading around, especially one below, there is no simple answer to filtering/storing grey water apart from limited immediate use. Shame seems such a waste.

    http://www.oasisdesign.net/greywater/misinfo/index.htm
    •  
      CommentAuthorDamonHD
    • CommentTimeApr 25th 2012
     
    I suspect that's part of the reason we have water companies...

    Rgds

    Damon
  7.  
    :smile:
    •  
      CommentAuthorfostertom
    • CommentTimeApr 25th 2012 edited
     
    One point made in polytunnel literature is that grey water (with its various contaminants) may be OK on beds in the open, where rain will wash through - but a different matter in a polytunnel, where the stuff can only build up. The guidance is - unless you really know what you're doing with grey water, don't!

    Pity, as I frequently put 1kg of Epsom salts (MgSO4.7H2O) in a bath full, luxurious and also the only effective way of absorbing magnesium which we're all short of, causing calcium imbalance, frozen shoulder, macular degeneration, you name it. The water is brim full of magnesium which is the prime deficient element in topsoils nowadays (not fixed by adding compost, as nowadays the veg matter is also short of magnesium).
    •  
      CommentAuthordjh
    • CommentTimeApr 25th 2012
     
    Posted By: fostertomPity, as I frequently put 1kg of Epsom salts (MgSO4.7H2O) in a bath full, luxurious and also the only effective way of absorbing magnesium which we're all short of, causing calcium imbalance, frozen shoulder, macular degeneration, you name it. The water is brim full of magnesium which is the prime deficient element in topsoils nowadays (not fixed by adding compost, as nowadays the veg matter is also short of magnesium).

    Magnesium is the key atom in chlorophyll, which is what makes plants green. If a plant has a magnesium deficiency, it turns yellow. So as long as your plants are not turning yellow, don't worry about them. And to avoid a magnesium deficiency yourself, eat your greens.
    •  
      CommentAuthorfostertom
    • CommentTimeApr 25th 2012 edited
     
    Is that the one and only symptom of magnesium deficiency in plants?
    Is a plant 100% content with 'just enough' or does it like to have an abundance of nutrients available? Would abundance result in better-formed plants, more full of vitality?
    Is the chalk-and-cheese difference just imaginary, between home-grown well-composted just-picked vegs, and even supermarket 'taste the difference' ones? To me, one you can feel is just full of it, the other is just so much matter. Could that be partly because of abundance of soil nutrients?
    Does ever-more intensive cropping, of ever-more 'productive' varieties, deplete soil of its complex of major and trace nutrients? and are typical horticultural methods of replenishing the main ones, adequate to maintain typical veg content analyses and 'vitality', compared to the 1940s when the definitive veg content analyses were researched? Has there been unacknowledged deterioration?
    • CommentAuthorowlman
    • CommentTimeApr 25th 2012
     
    Posted By: fostertom.......Is that the one and only symptom of magnesium deficiency in plants?
    Is a plant 100% content with 'just enough' or does it like to have an abundance of nutrients available? Would abundance result in better-formed plants, more full of vitality?


    Zinc is another well documented micronutrient deficiency in crops.
    •  
      CommentAuthordjh
    • CommentTimeApr 27th 2012
     
    Posted By: fostertomIs that the one and only symptom of magnesium deficiency in plants?

    No, but it is generally a reliable symptom.

    There are many books and online sources about plant nutrition and flavour, which are probably a better source of information than hearsay from me. Both are complex subjects.
    • CommentAuthorSeret
    • CommentTimeApr 28th 2012
     
    Posted By: fostertomWould abundance result in better-formed plants, more full of vitality?


    Disclaimer: I am no biologist and I'm sure there are special cases. However, as a general rule when it comes to nutrients biological system don't store any excess, it just gets excreted. So as long as there's enough then adding more does nothing.

    Not a fact that Holland & Barrett will be advertising any time soon.
    •  
      CommentAuthorSteamyTea
    • CommentTimeApr 28th 2012
     
    Or homoeopathists :wink:
    •  
      CommentAuthorfostertom
    • CommentTimeApr 28th 2012 edited
     
    Posted By: Seretbiological system don't store any excess, it just gets excreted
    that wd be once it's in the animal/plant. I was on about nutrient abundance within the source (food/soil) the animal/plant has to extract it from, so it doesn't have to work so hard getting it, and doesn't have to settle for substitutes.

    E.g. grabbing too much calcium to sort-of balance up a magnesium shortage.
    Magnesium shortage in the source does result in xs calcium take-up, which the body then dumps into soft tissue e.g. granular deposits causing the agony of frozen shoulder, also sclerosis in blood vessels, macular degeneration and lots more.

    Since the advent of chemical farming, soils all over the world, especially in horticulture, have become depleted in abundant magnesium, compared to pre-1940s.

    People take calcium supplements, drink milk etc etc - but what they need to get their calcium into order is not more of the same, but more of the regulator of calcium - magnesium - best absorbed as an Epsom salts bath - 1kg in a bathfull (costs less than £1 in 25kg sacks from eBay)- then what do you do with the water? Wd be nice to be allowed to put it on the garden.
   
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