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Old 09-30-2017, 06:16 PM   #1
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Installing/Diverting Greywater.


Came home to our new home last week to find and smell sewage coming to the surface of the drain field. Talked to a local poop pumper that said I needed the sewer pumped out and recommended I consider diverting the grey water. Previous owners were an old couple and the house sat empty for 3 years before we bought it. We are a growing family of 5 with a lot of laundry& showers...

So, I am going to divert the washer, dishwasher, showers and sinks into the sump pit.

All but one of the fixtures enter into the main sewer line in the basement. So, my thought is to cut and cap the Tees where they enter the 4" and create a 1.5" common down-sloping pipe around 2 1/2 sides of our basement leading to the sump pit. I can Tee each one of the present (now cut) drains into this common pipe.

Do I need a vent and clean-out fitting at the top/beginning of the pipe?

Any other wisdom before I start this project?
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Old 09-30-2017, 06:31 PM   #2
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Re: Installing/Diverting Greywater.


Get a second opinion on your septic system. Sewage bubbling in a drain field does not mean you need your tank pumped.
Sewage bubbling in your toilet does though.

Also, consult your local DEQ and or wastewater Dept. before proceeding with a grey water system, It is usually regulated.

1.5" line is way too small. Need at least a 2", possibly 3" based on the fixtures you itemized
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Old 09-30-2017, 06:57 PM   #3
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Re: Installing/Diverting Greywater.


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Originally Posted by TheEplumber View Post
Get a second opinion on your septic system. Sewage bubbling in a drain field does not mean you need your tank pumped.
Sewage bubbling in your toilet does though.

Also, consult your local DEQ and or wastewater Dept. before proceeding with a grey water system, It is usually regulated.

1.5" line is way too small. Need at least a 2", possibly 3" based on the fixtures you itemized
Pumper said he pumped it 7 years ago and will give it a look over when he comes. I will go with 2" since there is a bunch of it left in the barn...

Not sure about regulations out here... The 5 old farm families that hang around here all dump their grey water into their gardens or fields...
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Old 09-30-2017, 07:28 PM   #4
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Re: Installing/Diverting Greywater.


Local EPA has regulations regarding grey water treatment and disposal. Not worth the fines I would suggest you contact your local Septic authority normally a health department.
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Old 09-30-2017, 08:17 PM   #5
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Re: Installing/Diverting Greywater.


Totally agree with first checking with your local authorities. Most halfways modern septic systems are usually sized to the number of bedrooms, but you mention its an old farmhouse so who knows. Maybe the tilebed needs to be flushed. If there is a functional problem with your system, diverting the greywater won't cure it, only delay the next appearance.
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Old 09-30-2017, 08:24 PM   #6
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Re: Installing/Diverting Greywater.


Will definitely get a look at whats happening with the septic when the poop man comes out..
Visited with my elderly farm neighbors this evening to discuss this and was told that everyone has septic issues here in the dead of winter since it freezes down to 8 feet deep... Morning breakfast crew of semi-retired farmers here told me that everybody in the country diverts their greywater here... not sure how true that is...
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Old 09-30-2017, 09:37 PM   #7
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Re: Installing/Diverting Greywater.


I've lived far enough north that farming is a foreign concept - never had an active septic system freeze, although I suppose it is not unheard of. Around here the frost line in nominally about 4' and I've never owned a house that had the tank or tile bed installed below that.

If it common to divert greywater to the sump, does everybody own backyard skating rinks?

Having said all of that, I've learned to not question the assembled wisdom and logic of a gaggle of farmers, especially old ones.
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Old 10-01-2017, 05:07 AM   #8
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Re: Installing/Diverting Greywater.


I also live in the country on top of a tall hill. My wash water drains out on the side of the hill. I don't know if it's still allowed today but 26 yrs ago the only requirement was that it not drain within 50' of any water including a drainage ditch.

The previous owners of my oldest son's place used have their wash water and kitchen sink drain into the ditch. When they got caught they installed a short drain field with a grease trap for that grey water to make it legal.
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Old 10-03-2017, 08:25 PM   #9
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Re: Installing/Diverting Greywater.


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Originally Posted by mark sr View Post
I also live in the country on top of a tall hill. My wash water drains out on the side of the hill. I don't know if it's still allowed today but 26 yrs ago the only requirement was that it not drain within 50' of any water including a drainage ditch.

The previous owners of my oldest son's place used have their wash water and kitchen sink drain into the ditch. When they got caught they installed a short drain field with a grease trap for that grey water to make it legal.
That is kind of what I am looking at doing... Since it is common here and they have a don't ask don't tell policy with it...

So, I am going to create a 2" common down-sloping pipe around 2 1/2 sides of our basement leading to the sump pit. I can Tee each one of the present sink/shower/washer drains into this common pipe.

Do I need a vent and clean-out fitting at the top/beginning of the pipe?
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Old 10-03-2017, 08:53 PM   #10
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Re: Installing/Diverting Greywater.


Frozen Field
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Old 10-04-2017, 09:18 AM   #11
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Re: Installing/Diverting Greywater.


I would like to add to the vote count of checking with your local health department. Depending on where your sump discharges to, that could be a disgusting mess. I'm always shocked by how shower drain leaks seem to smell so horrible. Kitchens are no cakewalk either.

If your frost line is 8' deep, then perhaps you need a different type of drainfield installed? I have heard of vertical drainfields, but hadn't really considered why that would be useful until just now.

As E-Plumber suggested above, a 2" line may not be large enough to handle the load you are intending to put through it especially considering your comment of a growing family. A sketch of proposed piping and fixtures could allow us to size it for you, although I would probably run a 3" line.

You may have your mind set on avoiding the health department and other local government agencies with this issue, but I'm sure there are ways to get information about how to deal with it properly. There may be other locals who have had the same issue that dealt with it differently than your immediate neighbors.
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