Builder's Greywater Guide
Installation of Greywater Systems in New Construction and Remodeling
Includes text of new greywater law
On this page
"The best guide for actual hands-on greywater system construction available.
Contractors need this book, do it yourselfers will simply love it. Time saving
tricks, traps to avoid, flowcharts for system selection, user education, it's
all here in plain English with an easy reading style."
-Doug Pratt, Technical Products Developer, Real Goods Renewable Energy Division
"Any contractor, architect or homeowner interested in sustainable architecture
would do well to buy and study a copy of this book."
-Chris Prelitz, Seacrest Builders, Laguna Beach, California
"Extremely helpful for interpreting the arcane language of the plumbing
code for the uninitiated. Without it, many pitfalls await the unwary."
-Bahman Sheikh , Director, City of Los Angeles Greywater Pilot Project
The Builder's Greywater Guide, a supplement to Oasis's book Create an Oasis with Grey Water (book), will help building professionals or homeowners work within or around building codes to successfully include greywater systems in new construction or remodeling in the US, even if they have little prior greywater experience.
Topics include: Special reasons for builders to install or not install a greywater system, flow chart for choosing a system, suggestions for dealing with inspectors, legal requirements checklist, detailed review of system options with respect to the new laws, latest construction details and design tips, maintenance suggestions, equations for estimating irrigation demand, and the complete text of the new California greywater law with annotations from Oasis (the California greywater law is very similar to the greywater appendix in the Uniform Plumbing Code, which may apply in all of the US west of the Mississippi and several Eastern States).
Author: Art Ludwig. Oasis Design, 1995-2006. 8.5 x11, 54 pages, 8 figures. ISBN 0964343320. $14.95
NOTE: The Builder's Greywater Guide is currently undergoing extensive expansion. The currently available edition is accurate and up to date except it does not have the current version of the California Greywater Standards which we helped write; these can be found on our web site at the preceding link. Much of the new information going into the new edition can be found in the California greywater policy center and our Legalize Sustainability page. Physically, the current Builder's Guide is our simplest formatted book; it is black and white, saddle stitched. The next edition will have a color cover, be perfect bound, and cost more. When it is available, we will offer a discount on the new edition to anyone who has purchased the previous one. Depending on how close to the release date the purchase is made, it will be between $5 for anyone who ever bought one, $10 for people who bought it within a year, to a 100% credit for people who bought it 30 days previously. We don't have a release date for the new edition but it will probably be mid 2015 at the earliest.
Create an Oasis with Grey Water (book) is required in order to use the Builder's Guide. If you don't have Create an Oasis already, you'll want to order it or the set below:
Choosing a system
The question is, "what greywater system can best match greywater sources to the irrigation demand?' The flow chart (Figure 1, page 4) will yield a good answer in most situations.
Realize that it is all but impossible to come up with a greywater system which is simultaneously inexpensive, ecological, easy to use, legal, and efficient. However, by sacrificing some of these parameters, the others can be satisfied. There are a large number of possible combinations of benefits and drawbacks, one or more of which will likely be a good fit for a particular situation. Your task is to determine the best fit options, decide if any of these are good enough to build, and then build the best one
For ideal situations with continuous downhill slope from the points of greywater generation to the points of irrigation need, this design promises inexpensive, reliable, efficient distribution WITHOUT FILTER CLEANING. It is critical that hard-plumbed lines have proper slope (at least 1/4" per foot)
One way to split the greywater flow to accomplish wider distribution is to not combine the flows in the first place; each fixture waters its own area. Coordination with fresh water irrigation may be complicated by using this technique. It works best as primary irrigation, with each flow matched to an appropriately sized, established tree.
Another way to split the flow is by using "double ells" (Figure 3, page 13). If there are ridges on the inside of these fittings they must be ground smooth-a rotary file in a drill works well. The maximum number of splits is probably four, in "family tree" style. In theory, the water will split predictably so a single irrigation zone sensor would get a representative reading off of any outlet. The double ell variation is a brand new Art Ludwig design. I would appreciate hearing of your experiences with it. According to the folks in Sacramento, a local jurisdiction could interpret this system as conforming to the California greywater law requirements for a mini-leachfield system, or the "other means of distributing greywater subsurface clause," providing you could demonstrate that the effluent would not surface. As part of the inspection they might require you to run a surge into the system and check for surfacing before giving final approval.
The Builder's Greywater Guide includes the entire text of California's greywater law, with extensive annotations added to clarify the implications and possible ways to get a practical system through the cracks. It also includesUPC&CPC improvementsand two pages of needed improvements to California's greywater law.
The latest edition includes new information onTreatment effectiveness vs. wastewater application depth(jpeg graphic, 300k).
Figure: Example of Dual Waste Collection Plumbing for New Slab
NOTE: Create an Oasis with Grey Water (book) is required in order to use the Builder's Guide. If you don't have Create an Oasis already, you'll want to order it or the set below:
www.oasisdesign.net Copyright © Art Ludwig 1997 -2015