Builder's Greywater Guide: Installation, Standards, and Science for Builders, Landscapers, Regulators, Policymakers, Researchers, and Homeowners
Includes text of current codes
A supplement to the book "Create an Oasis with Greywater"
By Art Ludwig
The Builder's Greywater Guide is of interest to anyone getting a permit for a greywater system, installing large greywater systems, installing a greywater system as a part of new construction or remodeling, making a greywater system for others, working on the regulation of greywater, or with an academic interest in greywater. The Builder's Greywater Guide includes info for architects, landscape architects, and plumbers, and will be most useful as a companion to Create an Oasis with Greywater.
On this page
Builder's Greywater Guide Only. Oasis greywater-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:
"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 Oasis greywater-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, detailed review of system options with respect to the codes, 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 section 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, 1995-2015. 8.5 x 11, 58 pages, 16 figures and tables. ISBN 0964343320. $14.95
NOTE: The Builder's Greywater Guide just underwent extensive updating and expansion. The currently available edition is accurate and up to date. If you bought the previous version of the Builder's Guide within the past year, send us your order number and we'll write back with a $10 credit towards the purchase of this new one. Physically, the current Builder's Guide is our simplest formatted book; it is black and white, saddle stitched.
Oasis greywater-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 locally permissible greywater system can best match the greywater sources to the irrigation demand?" The flow chart (Figure 1, page 5) will yield a good answer in most situations.
It is newly possible to come up with a greywater system that is inexpensive, ecological, efficient, easy to use, and legal under the CPC, but the range of choices is narrower and some design concessions must be made. Under the UPC, it is more challenging. However, by sacrificing some of these parameters, you can satisfy others. There are many possible combinations of benefits and drawbacks. Your task is to determine the best options, then build the best one (or conclude that none are worth building in your context).
For sites with continuous downhill slope from the points of greywater generation to the points of irrigation need, and flows of under 300 gpd, this design provides inexpensive, reliable, automated distribution without filter cleaning. It is critical that hard-plumbed lines have proper slope (at least 1⁄4" per foot). All variations are legal in Arizona-style codes. All but the best, free-flow outlet variation are allowed under the CPC (see Appendix D).
Figure: Code Compliance of Branched Drain Outlet Options
The Builder's Greywater Guide includes the entire text of California's greywater code, with extensive annotations added to clarify the implications, and possible ways to get a practical system through the cracks. It also includes UPC&CPC improvements and two pages of needed improvements to California's greywater law.
The latest edition includes new information on Treatment vs application depth-pdf (jpeg graphic, 300k).
Figure: Example of Dual Waste Collection Plumbing for New Slab
NOTE: Oasis greywater-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: