Glasshouses and Greywater

Subject: greywater in glasshouses
Date: Sat, 11 Nov 2000
From: Art Ludwig
To: Jessica <nimbee©hermes.net.au>

Jessica from Blue Mountains, New South Wales, Australia
writes regarding greywater reuse and efficiency fixtures.
The environment is in the mountains (elev. 800m) with winter
frosts, 1200mm rainfall per year. Jessica's goal is to
minimize how much greywater goes into the sewer and to not
pollute the ground water or land downstream from her
suburban block. She lives in an area which has a high
rainfall and shallow sandstone soil. The rainfall exceeds
the amount of water which can evaporate or be transpired by
plants.
> I will therefore have difficulty at times using all my
> greywater on the garden. I am wondering whether a
> glasshouse is the answer.
>
> Do you have any further information on designs for
> grey water use in glass houses other than what is in
> "Create an Oasis" which I have bought and read?
>
> Do you have any information on how soil can be tested to
> determine whether grey water is polluting the soil on
> site or downstream?

Jessica,
A glasshouse is a good bet for this sort of environment. A
constructed wetland is also possible. Both are expensive
systems. If you'd like a glasshouse anyway for it's other
benefits (heating, winter veggies, more outside-ish living
space) it's worth it. There is not much info on either
system in Create an Oasis. See the "passive solar greenhouse
book" for that part. It is out of print but I'm sure there
is a copy in a library somewhere in your country. I have a
consulting special currently on a supply system for
greenhouse beds. The actual greywater system is small and
cheap relative to the greenhouse. It helps if you don't use
much water, then the treatment rate will be high with
reasonable sized beds.
It is hard to pollute with greywater. See treatment
effectiveness links from Sewers & water quality. It is also a bit hard
to measure. I suppose you could look for MBAS--that's
detergents. This could get expensive. If I were you, I would
put your money into making a system which seemed like it
would have a high likelihood of high treatment and forgo the
testing. I could help you assess this.
Good luck,
Art

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