Saturday, April 19th, 2014

Drain Field- Save it By Routing Grey Water Away

April 13, 2012 by  
Filed under Latest Septic Information

Probably the most simple way to protect your septic drain field is by routing grey water (especially water from your laundry) away from the septic system all together. Many seem to frown on this, but it's absolutely safe, and actually better for the environment than increasing the probability of allowing nitrogen and phosporus to leach from your septic system.

Drain Field - Grey Water

  • Breaks down super fast
  • Has very low levels of nitrogen and phosporus
  • Is an excellent water source for gardens and plants around the outside of your home
  • and, in small measure, helps to protect local water ways.

Of course, many municipalities consider this practice a little outside the norm, but lets be realistic here. When considering re-routing grey water just from you laundry, we're talking about soap and water. Any by the way, Nitrogen and Phosphorus are represented by the first two numbers on fertilizer packages. In small doses they are good for plants.

If you live out in the country where most homeowners utilize a drain field in some way:

  • this is an awesome way to save water
  • give your drain field a break
  • and keep the plants alive without turning on the water faucet.

Many argue that there have been no long term studies on the results of grey water on soil. I intend to do my own. If the plants are healthy and grass stays green, I personally believe I can pass on the double blind. My contention, biodegradable soaps are not toxic to plants. As far as long term impacts on soil productivity, I'll let you how how my tomatoes produce five years from now.

Local Drain Field - Grey Water Regulations

If local regulations require, just place a filter on the drain line from your laundry to collect particulates, or other possibly dangerous components, and your good to go. A simple particulate filter is cheap. All you have to consider now is how to route the water to where you want it, and away from your drain field. The best way to do this is once you get the drain line outside of the structure, just connect to a drip irrigation hose, route it to plants, garden, etc. and cover with mulch. You will immediately begin to notice how much your plants like it, especially in the dry season. Most laundry detergents are extremely bio degradable now, which allows them to be re-introduced to the environment more easily. A good long drip line (about 50 feet or so) allows drain water from each load of laundry to be released slowly. Of course, if you have a house full of teenagers, you may want to increase the length of your drip line. Just grow a bigger garden to feed them. It's a win win.

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