077 – Creating an Oasis with Grey Water 2

Published 8 years ago in homesteading , Permaculture , Podcasts - 0 Comments

Paul Wheaton and Kelly Ware read chapter 2 of Art Ludwig’s “Create an Oasis with Greywater.” It starts with clarifying what your goals are, and what your workable situation is. Paul and Kelly talk about how a working leach field is important if you have a septic system. Saving water is important both for those downstream and because you have to deal with it when you’re done with it.

They mention the question of what to do if the shit hits the fan as septic pumps have an electric component. Kelly mentions pharmaceuticals in the water. Paul stopped using soap and shampoo 6 months ago, and he feels no different. Kelly uses apple cider vinegar, which is good for greywater systems. Kelly had a pipe system at an old house where her kitchen water and disposal went right outside.

Paul shares a story of a pipe that goes to a drainfield. The anaerobic organic matter turned to a glee layer, which water can’t pass through. He and his friend rebuilt the system properly at 18 inches below with river rock on top for good aeration. 18 inches was down enough that there were organisms to take care of it, even in the wintertime. Paul talks about having a proper fear of poop. Paul doesn’t like regulations rooted in somebody making money. As Art writes, “legal requirements may push you to do really impractical things.” Paul mentions his video on how washing dishes by hand can use less water than even the most efficient dishwasher. Paul comments on sterilizing dishes.

Paul mentions the order of “reduce, reuse, recycle” and how it starts with reducing water consumption. He and Kelly talk about front loading washers and short showers. They explain what the percolation rate to soil (perc) is, and how rocks have slow or no perc. Sand has high perc, and gravel more so, yet very fast perc can contaminate groundwater unless plants with a good root system help. The book tells how to measure perc rate. Paul prefers not to irrigate as it dilutes the flavor of food and causes plant dependency. He would rather build hugelkultur beds. They talk about there being poop bits in greywater and the importance that the greywater empties beneath mulch. Paul prefers that it not be used to water food beds. Paul also has concerns with using grey water when plants are dormant.

Relevant Threads

Podcast 076 – Reviewing Creating an Oasis Part 1
Thoughts on Art Ludwig
Water Storage Question

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