How can I improve my greywater system?

gray water recyclingWe’ve had an email from Su:

I do like to tax the minds of all who read these sites, not intentionally, but in a ‘why don’t I know how to do that’ sort of way.

Here goes, I collect all the water from my washing machine, and use it to flush the loo. However, hauling watering cans of water up the stairs with a frozen shoulder is not especially easy. So I would like to construct (if possible) some sort of pump, preferably from reused bits. Unfortunately, I have not the remotest idea where to start!

I can easily put a pipe out of the bathroom window into the container of water, but it would be easiest if the pump, or at least the switch was at the ‘top’ end, so that I don’t end up running up and down stairs to switch it on and off. Would a washing machine pump (not that I have one lying around) do the job? Could it be solar powered?

All ideas gratefully received.

I haven’t had much experience with setting up greywater systems so I can’t really advice – hopefully someone else will be in a better position to comment. As someone who has an incredibly vertical house, I’d love to learn more about options for pumping water too.

One thing I will say though is could you change it around so you don’t need to pump upwards? For example, using greywater from shower/bath for the toilet, and using the stuff from the washing machine elsewhere (such as on the garden, if it’s chemical free). It obviously depends on the set up of your home – there might not be storage room on that level for the water – but it might be easier to rejig things that way then get a powered pump working.

Any ideas, suggestions or advice?

Source: How can I recycle this?

Water Rhapsody has the perfect grey water solutions- either gray water irrigation or greywater for toilet flushing (see product demo).  Our gray water systems are designed to be incorporated seamlessly into your existing plumbing system- they operate automatically with minimal intervention and without the need for any drastic changes in lifestyle and habits (see grey water FAQ). Water Rhapsody greywater systems use small, low-draw pumps that can be powered by domestic solar panels if required. To further conserve water, we also supply and install a retrofit toilet flushing mechanism that only flushes for as long as the flushing lever held down (no need to buy a whole new toilet).

Water Rhapsody also offers a rainwater harvesting system integrates with your existing water supply (be it municipal, borehole or other) and can be instantly switched from one source to the other when required.  Water tanks are core to many of our WWF Award-winning water conservation systems- we are water tank dealers for JoJo Tanks and Atlas Plastics in Mpumalanga and Limpopo as well as the rest of South Africa.  We can supply a wide range of JoJo water tanks and JoJo tank stands as well as most of the high quality water tanks and other products made by Atlas Plastics.  Solar energy is synergistic with water; we have incorporated Yes Solar Mpumalanga in order to offer SABS- and Eskom-approved Solsquare solar water heaters (all installed by qualified solar installers).  All our Water Rhapsody and Yes Solar systems not only save water and save energy, they save the environment while you save money too!

Contact us for a free quote on a rainwater harvesting system, rainwater tank, grey water system, water tank (JoJo water tanks and Atlas water tanks) or solar geyser.

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