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of Sonoma
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All about Greywater
Laundry to Landscape
Shower/Sink Systems
Pumped Systems
Constructed Wetlands
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Frequent Questions
About US

Types of Systems
Shower/Bath  &  Sink  Systems  (Gravity Fed)

Laundry to Landscape (Clothes washer system)     
-Typically the easiest source of greywater to access
-Most municipalities don’t require permit
-Easy to spread out and regulate water to reach many plants
-Able to travel slightly uphill or flat
-Easy to change after installation
-No storage
-No additional pump
-No filtration
-Usually is 1/3 of graywater produced per house
-Top loader= 30-50 gallons/load
-Front loader= 10-20 gallons/load

Branched Drain System
-Showers/baths and bathroom sinks provide larger amounts of greywater than laundry (average 150 gallons per person per week)
-Usually requires permit
-Gravity fed system (Must have sufficient elevation for gravity flow to landscape, 1/4’’ per foot minimum)
-Need access to drainage plumbing
-Involves more serious and exact plumbing work
-No storage
-No pump
-No filtration
-Simple and robust
-Once built, very low maintenance
-Relatively inexpensive


Main elements of the branched drain system

-3 way valve to switch between landscape and sewer, (downstream from traps and vents)
-Swing check valve or back water valve before sewer connection
- 1 1/2’’ or 2” rigid pipe, (ABS is normally used)
-Double ell flow splitters to divide flow into different “branches”
-Outlet shields (valve boxes, recycled plant pots)
-Mulch basins (to infiltrate greywater)

Constructed Wetlands 

Constructed Wetlands systems     
Main Elements of the System
Main Elements of Constructed Wetland Systems
-3 way valve to switch between wetland and sewer
-Water tight container or pond liner
-Substrate, usually gravel/rock, (mined from rivers)
-Wetland plants
-Swing check valve on outlet pipe
-Mulch basins to infiltrate greywater after passing through wetland

Your local source
 for greywater irrigation system design and installation! 
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Example Projects

Greywater pipe (blue) from laundry exits house
with adjusting valve
-3-way valve (to switch between landscape and sewer)
-Auto vent or air admittance valve (Anti-siphon)
-1" pipe (PVC) collection plumbing
-1'' and 1/2'' Distribution piping (HDPE or PVC)
-Outlet shields (valve boxes, plant pots, see pic at right)
-Mulch basins (to infiltrate greywater)
- Biological Treatment: wetland plants remove nutrients from greywater that can cause pollution of creeks and fresh waterways (Doesn't remove chemicals or salt) 
-Ecological Disposal: appropriate where there is abundant greywater and little irrigation demand 
-Wetland plants evapotranspire 10+ gallons of water on warm days, thus it is not a very efficient form of treatment before irrigation
-Greywater flows through substrate (usually gravel or rock) and out the other side, whithin a water tight container or pond liner
-Create beautiful and functional water feature


Sand Filter to Drip Systems

-Allows for drip irrigation
-Able to spread out water and reach many plants
-Easy to configure/reconfigure irrigation lines
-Able to control quantity of water
-Automatic, can add make up water or shut off if not needed
-More expensive ($5,000-10,000)
-Uses more energy and resources to make and operate than low tech systems
-Can be harder to get permit approved
Sand Filter to Drip 
Main elements of sand filter to drip systems
-Surge tank
-Effluent pump with float switch
-Automatically backflushing sand filter
-Backflow prevention device
-Automatic Irrigation valves and controller
-Domestic water backup connection
-Drip emmiter tubing

A "Re-water" brand system
Greywater pipe (blue) from laundry exits house
Photo: Greywater Action
Photo: Greywater Action
Photo: Greywater Action
Photo: Greywater Action