Greywater from Laundry

merklemomJune 16, 2010

I have tried to find my answer by searching other websites and forums but no one seems to know. We are currently in the process of moving to the family farms to keep it going. My husband and I are building our house about 50 yards from a ponds that is at a bottom of a steep hill behind our house. We want to use the laundry water to water the grass, ect... If I use a homemade soap (borax, washing soda, & ivory soap) Will this hurt the pond? It is used to for the cattle to drink out of. Not the only source but one of many.

Thank you.

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calliope(6)

Greywater (where permitted use) should not be discharged other than at ground level. It should never be discharged where there is a possibility of runoff. That lets out watering lawns (except through irrigation pipes) or releasing it where it can run off into any type of aquifer. Ground water level needs to be at a safe distance below surface so it isn't contaminated. Laundry pollutants are not your only concern. Pathogens are, and fouling or eutrophication of clean water.

Greywater uses oxygen for decomposition of the matter suspended in it. If you run it into a pond, you could seriously interfere with the pond maintaining balance, IOW algae formation.

There are all sorts of bulletins dealing with handling greywater safely. If it's legal in your state, they should be easy to come by. Some states require permits to do it.

Don't take our word for it, get legal and safe guidelines. It's a great system, not knocking it, but there are all sorts of ways to do it properly.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2010 at 11:24PM
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dunwaukin(Ontario 5b)

Try mother earth news. I didn't look through the search results, but they tend to be a bit more liberal in their thinking

Here is a link that might be useful: Mother Earth NEws

    Bookmark   June 17, 2010 at 11:04PM
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maryld_gardener(5)

Boron can be toxic to some plants so I think you should you should check that out before you make soap with borax. Fruit trees need boron, maybe that's why simple systems often go into a mulched area around fruit trees.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2010 at 8:22PM
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