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-   -   Use Washing machine to power toilet and save water! (https://ecomodder.com/forum/showthread.php/use-washing-machine-power-toilet-save-water-7630.html)

bennelson 03-27-2009 02:16 PM

Use Washing machine to power toilet and save water!
 
I have some information up on how to re-use laundry wash waster to help conserve on my water bill.

Complete with photos!

Check it out at:
Ben's DIY Graywater System - EcoRenovator

cfg83 03-27-2009 02:39 PM

bennelson -

Thanks, I am sending this to my friend.

CarloSW2

MazdaMatt 03-27-2009 03:10 PM

So now you have a Lemmony Fresh smelling toilet?

bennelson 03-27-2009 03:42 PM

Well, I don't use lemon-scent laundry soap, so I don't have a lemony-toilet.

The toilet does end up with a tiny bit of soap in it. It looks about like it does right after you scrub the toilet, where there is a little tiny bit of soap bubbles left in it.

vtec-e 03-27-2009 05:09 PM

There will be more than bubbles left in it when i'm done with it!!
sorry, couldn't help myself!

ollie

cfg83 03-27-2009 05:31 PM

bennelson -

Quote:

Originally Posted by bennelson (Post 94468)
Well, I don't use lemon-scent laundry soap, so I don't have a lemony-toilet.

The toilet does end up with a tiny bit of soap in it. It looks about like it does right after you scrub the toilet, where there is a little tiny bit of soap bubbles left in it.

Do you bypass the fill bowl thingy? I think you do. If not, then what are your "wear and tear" predictions on the fill bowl equipment?

CarloSW2

bennelson 03-27-2009 07:13 PM

Right now, the graywater line is plumbed directly to the regular toilet water in line.

That means the regular fill mechanism works exactly the way it normally does.

I plan to still add an extra shut-off valve and T so that I can reach behind the toilet to switch from graywater to drinking water. I want this flexibility for when I run out of graywater or otherwise might need to troubleshoot the system.

I don't know if there will be any further wear on the tank fill valve from graywater compared to drinking water.

I had a filter on the system, but the lint gunked it up after only one load of laundry! I am going to put a more course filter in place of the original filter.

hamsterpower 03-27-2009 08:08 PM

greywater ideas
 
Hi Ben,
Looks good so far but if I may, Please don't add a tee behind the toilet for clean water. instead add clean water to the tank at the other end of the system as needed. You CAN NOT have any chance of grey water getting in to the clean water supply.
Secondly for your filter you can use a fine filter inline like you had before but add a course filter, maybe sand or gauze, between the washer and the tank. A small container with a hole in the bottom covered by a few layers of fish filter cotton, followed by course sand on top of the tank would be ideal. Run the washer drain line in to this container. This way the tank stays somewhat clean too. In fact... if this was in the top of the tank.. like a rain water collection system you could run the overflow out of this container to your drain. By letting this overflow from time to time it might self clean this filter by back flushing to the drain.

There's my first post. I hope I made sense.

cfg83 03-27-2009 08:29 PM

hamsterpower -

Quote:

Looks good so far but if I may, Please don't add a tee behind the toilet for clean water. instead add clean water to the tank at the other end of the system as needed. ...
Welcome to EM! I'm definitely a believer in the habitrail. It sound like the "other end" of the system would need a custom "float" mechanism for when the graywater got too low.

CarloSW2

aussie_modder 04-01-2009 09:44 PM

I took the non-engineer approach
 
i have a very similar scenario. No mains water connection (rain water tank only) and a septic system. Initially, toilet is connected to pump running from rainwater supply. Being a typical engineer, i thought of a myriad of ways to use either shower water or laundry water, via a complex series of t-connections, holding tanks, float valves and the like.

Then it occured to me. Showering over a bucket, i can collect at least 9 litres (during a 4 minute shower) of soapy water or half that of cleaner water, each time. The toilet uses about 5 litres on the half flush cycle (a great aussie invention that one!!). A full five litres is more than enough to flush anything and is probably overkill for light duties.

To complicate things, the toilet is adjacent but in a different room to the shower (which would necessitate complex piping and pumps if opting for a automated approach).

MY SOLUTION:

Turn off the rainwater feed completely. Fill the cistern with my collected 9L of water from a bucket (the cistern holds about 12L). That gives 2 flushes during the day. In the evening, the baby has her bath, which leaves plenty of bucketfulls to flush down any of the duties which have been left to linger, and then top off the cistern once again. By day 2, my shower water is not needed immediately, thereby allowing me to leave the bucket next to the toilet during the day, in case a top-off is required.

For those that don't bathe an infant on a daily basis, its quite easy to collect a bucket-full of either laundry water or sink water (preferably filtered) to use within 12-24 hours.

To reverse the process, remove the bucket from the toilet room and turn the clean water tap back on.

Christ 04-01-2009 10:46 PM

I used to use a bucket to flush the toilet... skip the water holding tank altogether, because my toilet never had one. Just dump the bucket into the toilet bowl.

The toilet was an old (illegitimate number of) gallons model, but it would flush with very little water used directly into the bowl, probably a gallon or so, as long as it was poured in quickly with as little splash as possible, and at the front of the toilet's bowl area.

I rather like the rainwater ideas, and plan on getting to work on some myself, once I get settled into a house that doesn't belong to my wife's family members...

I'd really love to get them into such a thing, but frankly don't have the extra energy needed to change their mind about "treehuggers" and such. I don't care to face the arguments that things which obviously are more efficient cannot actually be... so I just wait it out. Eventually, I'll be on my own.

Fortunately, my own father listens intently when I show him ways to save money, and isn't against washing his dishes in rain water. (That's how they did it camping, so why not now?)

He's actually quite content with showering in rain water, actually, although I haven't set anything up like that quite yet. He currently pumps water from a deep well, so it's basically ground-filtered rain water anyway, probably with more crap in it than rain water would have.

My own home's water system will mostly be rain and recycled water, but there will be 4 separate water systems in use:

1. Rain water collection for all things which don't require 100% clean/filtered/pure water, such as dishes, laundry, showering, other cleaning activities.

2. Gray water re-collection system from drains of all things run on the first system, for things like watering plants, flushing toilets, etc.

3. Fresh water supply, just in case, such as shallow well or city supply line.

4. Purifier for rain water and freshwater supplies, for drinking.

For those of you who think that it's "gross" to shower in rain water, do a precip test on your "clean" city drinking water supply... then get back to me.

aussie_modder 04-01-2009 11:02 PM

rain water gross???
 
For those of you who think that it's "gross" to shower in rain water, do a precip test on your "clean" city drinking water supply...


I can't say that i've ever heard anyone say that in my vicinity before. I know that after showering using municipal all of my life (the last five with very heavy water), nothing beats a rain water shower. the smell is different of course, but it be the lack of chlorine 'killing the sense of smell'.

For a new house design, i really like the ideas employed by builders of earthships whereby all of your greywater is used to irrigate water loving plants inside the house before it is then used for other things. with the dirty water finally being used to flush toilets, of which the blackwater discharge is later treated by reed beds.

Alas for all of those with established homes, we can only do our best to improvise our own water saving strategies- which can be tricky on a flat block of land!

Christ 04-01-2009 11:04 PM

Unused attic or upper crawlspace area can be used to partially collect rainwater in a container, then gravity feed it to the shower on the cold side.

Piwoslaw 04-03-2009 10:43 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Christ (Post 95284)
Unused attic or upper crawlspace area can be used to partially collect rainwater in a container, then gravity feed it to the shower on the cold side.

That would be easy but... you really must be sure your ceiling and rafters can hold it. My friend has a 1 cu.meter (1000 liters) container for rainwater behind his house. It was standing on old bricks until the first rainstorm. The container filled pretty quickly, and 1 cubic meter of water weighs 1 (metric) ton. One brick crumbled, the over got driven into the ground.
Moral: Estimate how much weight your attic can take, both total and per unit of area. Having a ton water standing on an area of about one square meter might give you a bigger shower than you expected.
Also, there should be a drain out of the tank in the attic in case it gets full but the rain doesn't stop.

MazdaMatt 04-03-2009 10:52 AM

I'm getting pretty intruiged by the idea of rain water collection. I'm in an EXTREMELY rainy place now compared to where I grew up. There's good reason, i suppose, that this Ontario town was named "London". I think we get the same weather patterns as the "original" London.

When i was younger we used to go to a trailer park on weekends. If it was raining, we'd angle down the trailer's awning and shower under the corner of it where the water poured off. It was great. Your hair never feels better than under rain water. i think it might be a little ambitious to try to convince the wife that it is a good idea.

How do you ensure you don't get algea growth and general filth/bugs in the system? I don't want to use a bunch of energy running it through a purifier - that would defeat the purpose.

What about winter?

bennelson 04-03-2009 11:00 AM

Designing an "eco" water system for an existing house is very different than one for new construction.

For mine, I am working around the constraints of the original building, which is a nice, but small house, and I don't want to mess up the drywall, and there is no attic or basement.

I designed the equipment to be hidden in the crawlspace, and how the water connects to the toilet, the system is more or less invisible.

If you come to my house and use the toilet, you may notice that the toilet water looks a little different. That's it. You don't have to go outside, or pour a bucket down the drain or anything like that.

My philosophy to get people to do ANYTHING - save money, conserve, etc. - is to make it as easy as possible!

Right now, my "graywater tank" is only a 30 gallon trash can. It can only hold one load of laundry water. That's enough for the toilet for 2 or 3 days. That is not long enough for the water to "go bad" or smell weird or anything. It works great.

bennelson 04-30-2009 11:11 PM

saving $267 ANNUALLY!
 
Now saving $267 annually on water!!!!!

REALLY!!!!

go to Ben's DIY Graywater System - Page 3 - EcoRenovator for details!

Clev 05-01-2009 02:39 AM

Rather than messing with the toilet, I'd attach the fill hose to the greywater holding tank. If that tank ever gets empty, a float attached to a fill valve always keeps about an inch of water in the bottom of the greywater tank. The water gets pumped from there into the toilet tank.

BeWaterWise Rep 05-21-2009 08:41 AM

Re using grey water from your clothes washers, kitchen sink, showers etc to water garden is an effective way to conserve fresh water. Similarly, we can also install a rain barrel to collect rain water and use it later. As many of us know, fresh water shortage is a growing concern across the world. Therefore, water conservation at home and work places is very essential. Moreover, it also reduces the water bill...

Clev 05-21-2009 12:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BeWaterWise Rep (Post 105484)
Re using grey water from your clothes washers, kitchen sink, showers etc to water garden is an effective way to conserve fresh water. Similarly, we can also install a rain barrel to collect rain water and use it later. As many of us know, fresh water shortage is a growing concern across the world. Therefore, water conservation at home and work places is very essential. Moreover, it also reduces the water bill...

Indeed. My co-worker just bought 5 acres out in the middle of the desert and is getting ready to build a house. A well out there costs about $17,000 because of the drilling depth required, so for the first 6 months to a year or so he's having water trucked in biweekly. He was ecstatic when I showed him this thread, and is now planning out his plumbing to do this by default. We figure that he'll save a truck a month or more.

TomO 05-21-2009 04:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bennelson (Post 94468)
The toilet does end up with a tiny bit of soap in it. It looks about like it does right after you scrub the toilet, where there is a little tiny bit of soap bubbles left in it.

So I wonder...since the water filling your tank and bowl has residual soap in it...do you find yourself cleaning the toilet less? Your source for greywater might have some nice side benefits if it's reducing your annual cost to drain the outside water tank AND making you spend less on any cleaners for the toilet. not to mention time that is freed up from having to clean said toilet.

KUDOS! :thumbup:

bennelson 05-21-2009 04:37 PM

The toilet bowl actually stays pretty clean, but the tank gets gunked up a bit.

You wouldn't know that of course unless you are me and look in there a lot because it's an experimental system!

Water from loads of whites is pretty clean. Water from loads of colored clothes actually is grey or sometimes purplish.

UfoTofU 06-25-2009 05:37 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BeWaterWise Rep (Post 105484)
Re using grey water from your clothes washers, kitchen sink, showers etc to water garden is an effective way to conserve fresh water. Similarly, we can also install a rain barrel to collect rain water and use it later. As many of us know, fresh water shortage is a growing concern across the world. Therefore, water conservation at home and work places is very essential. Moreover, it also reduces the water bill...

Doesn't grey water have chemicals in it?

bennelson 06-25-2009 08:46 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kitaimdao (Post 112077)
Doesn't grey water have chemicals in it?

Depends on whose water.

Mine only has a little bit of eco-friendly laundry soap in it. Remember this is only for flushing the toilet.

Usually if people use it for irrigation, it is recommended NOT to use on produce, rather trees and shrubs, etc.

UfoTofU 06-25-2009 08:58 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bennelson (Post 112083)
Usually if people use it for irrigation, it is recommended NOT to use on produce, rather trees and shrubs, etc.

If the water only contains eco-friendly laundry detergent or nothing at all, what's wrong with produce? Wouldn't you wash the produce anyway?

If you water the trees, couldn't the water contaminate the produce, especially if they're close? I apologise if this is exasperating

Christ 06-25-2009 02:04 PM

<(-- Don't use chemical cleaners..

I use vinegar and water for pretty much everything.

Once I run out of body wash, I'll probably use some glycerin based soap.

When I run out of laundry detergent, I'll get something with no phosphates in it, or I'll use the same glycerin based soap.

I'm not sure about dishes though... No idea if there is chemical free alternative to dish soap, other than the same glycerin based soap.

alohaspirit 06-25-2009 10:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Christ (Post 112139)

I'm not sure about dishes though... No idea if there is chemical free alternative to dish soap, other than the same glycerin based soap.



most stores should carry something like this now...


Buy Green Works Natural Dishwashing Liquid from Canada at Well.ca


http://media.well.ca/images/large/pr...001613_LRG.jpg

Christ 06-25-2009 10:57 PM

Ingredient list? It's Natural, I see, but that doesn't mean it's friendly.

Hell, Anthrax is natural, but you ain't washin' dishes with that mess! ;)

UfoTofU 06-25-2009 11:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Christ (Post 112139)
<(-- Don't use chemical cleaners..

I use peroxide and water to wash sometimes.

For my body I use S&S 2 lb. GOAT MILK Soap Loaf ENGLISH ROSE w/ SHEA - eBay (item 270334011692 end time Jul-21-09 07:10:22 PDT)

Christ 06-25-2009 11:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kitaimdao (Post 112218)

Interesting... what ratio?

Are there any negative ramifications that affect the city water supply or (in the case of wells/septic) the local ecosystem?

UfoTofU 06-25-2009 11:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Christ (Post 112223)
Interesting... what ratio?

Are there any negative ramifications that affect the city water supply or (in the case of wells/septic) the local ecosystem?

To be clear I meant hydrogen peroxide. I use a quarter cup per load to "boost stain prevention." I soak and watch my wash fizz.

I can't answer your second question for sure. I know it's a common ingredient in products that find themselves down drain; it's used as a disinfectant; it's decomposed by enzymes in the liver into water and oxygen; decomposes on its own as well, especially if exposed to light so it's stored in those brown bottles...

UfoTofU 06-25-2009 11:35 PM

Hydrogen peroxide - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia has a list, including:

Some horticulturalists and users of hydroponics advocate the use of weak hydrogen peroxide solution ("Spanish water") in watering solutions. Its spontaneous decomposition releases oxygen that enhances a plant's root development and helps to treat root rot (cellular root death due to lack of oxygen) and a variety of other pests. There is some peer-reviewed academic research to back up some of the claims.

Laboratory tests conducted by fish culturists in recent years have demonstrated that common household hydrogen peroxide can be used safely to provide oxygen for small fish. Hydrogen peroxide releases oxygen by decomposition when it is exposed to catalysts such as manganese dioxide.

Hydrogen peroxide is a strong oxidizer effective in controlling sulfide and organic related odors in wastewater collection and treatment systems. It is typically applied to a wastewater system where there is a retention time of 30 minutes to 5 hours before hydrogen sulfide is released. Hydrogen peroxide oxidizes the hydrogen sulfide and promotes bio-oxidation of organic odors. Hydrogen peroxide decomposes to oxygen and water, adding dissolved oxygen to the system thereby negating some Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD).

Mixed with baking soda and a small amount of hand soap, hydrogen peroxide is effective at removing skunk odor.

--

I also use it for odour control in my wash

bennelson 08-03-2009 09:22 PM

My greywater system updates continue over on ECORENOVATOR.

Click THIS for the link.

bennelson 04-02-2010 08:50 PM

I have done a little work lately reworking my greywater system.

I wanted some sort of biological filtration system, and have been doing a lot of reading on natural gardening and composting.

Which lead me to..... Planting MARSH PLANTS in my utility tub!

That's right, I just put down a couple layers of stone, pebbles, sand, dirt, and plants to filter the water from the laundry before the greywater gets temporarily stored and then used for flushing the toilet.

Here's a video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=prL0VUlBxmc

Christ 04-03-2010 12:13 AM

Um... I actually use my utility tub... that would so never work for me.

Excellent thought, though, if it works out for you.


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