About the GRS Watersave Tank-Dripper System. Approval number GW0403
This system design is for partial greywater dispersal, such as the reuse of wastewater from a laundry and/or bathroom. The GRS Watersave Tank-Dripper System comprises four parts. Initially, greywater is diverted from the normal waste stream, then it passes through a sedimentation tank, into a pump chamber, and finally the wastewater is dispersed throughout an interconnecting substrata dripper system.
GRS Tank System
(a) New tanks Greywater from the laundry and/or the bathroom should first pass into an appropriately sized settling or sedimentation tank.
Tanks are usually made from concrete or polyethylene (CT and GT series respectively).
A larger tank, typically 1200 x 1200 mm, will need to be used for larger households and greywater volumes.
(b) Using a Disused Septic Tank In sewered areas, an existing (dis-used) septic tank may be able to be used as the settling tank for a particular greywater dispersal system.
You may have to check with the local authority and/or Health Department if you intend to do this. In most houses a two tank system is used.
The larger tank is used as the greywater sedimentation tank and the second, smaller, tank is the pump tank.
(a) Pump tank
After the greywater has been allowed to settle for a day or so in a concrete or polyethylene tank, it passes into a pump chamber or tank.
This has to have at least 250 L capacity, but GRS suggests a larger tank to enable 200 to 300 L of wastewater to be pumped at any one time.
This is the preferred watering regime for most plants; the garden beds get watered every few days rather than a small volume every day.
A sump (submersible) pump with float switch, such as those produced by Pumpmaster, Onga or Grunfos, will be used. A water level warning device will be fitted to enable an audible and visible signal to be heard and seen if the pump should fail.
A 240V power source may need to be installed nearby to operate the pump.
(b) Irrigation System
The recycled greywater will then be pumped to areas of the garden through standard irrigation pipe to a network of substrata drippers.
A purpose-built biomatt filter is also placed before the dripper system to remove any hair or other solids which may be inadvertently pumped from the tank.
The dripper pipe is nominally Netafim pipe Tiran 17 (purple coloured dripperline). Drippers at typically set at 300 mm spacing and deliver 8 - 10 L/h.
The typical area required for dripper irrigation is calculated by dividing the greywater volume by 10 L/m2/day. e.g. 100 L = 10 m2 of irrigation area. It is anticipated that several different garden beds can be watered in sequence.
A rotary K-Rain distribution valve is used to shift water to different irrigation zones. Each line (lateral) has either a manual or automatic flushing valve on the end of the line to flush residual solids.
At least one vacuum breaker is installed at the highest point in the irrigation layout to prevent problems with wastewater dispersal. A 100 mm layer of mulch is to be placed on top of the irrigation dripper pipe.
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Greywater Reuse Systems (GRS) became Water Installations Pty Ltd in 2007.
GRS still operates the part of the business that deals with the manufacture, supply and installation of greywater systems.
GRS have many systems approved for use in WA, some of which can be found at the retail outlet at Unit 1, 18 Wandeara Crescent, Mundaring.
Ross Mars is the Managing Director of Water Installations Pty Ltd.
He is a well-known Western Australian educator, writer and course and workshop presenter.
He completed a PhD in Environmental Science at Murdoch University in 2001.
His research centred on the use of native wetland plants to strip nutrients from domestic greywater.
Ross also has qualifications in Permaculture, and offers general Permaculture courses (Permaculture Design Course) as well as Accredited Permaculture Training.
Details of these can be found on his Candlelight Farm website.