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Can you make an aquaponics system to treat bathroom water (not toilet)

Home Forums FOOD PRODUCTION, HARVEST AND STORAGE Aquaponics Can you make an aquaponics system to treat bathroom water (not toilet)

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    have you done it? how big should the ponds be?

    Basically, we are on a creek so we can’t use the reed bed system, our current bathroom setup (we think) is plumbed straight to the septic soakage. We are thinking about making an eco bathroom out the back as our current bathroom is falling apart. There is water in leaking into one of the walls, the pipes just pour out gunk everytime you use them, its always mouldy due to no air and no sun. (its in the middle of an old house with no windows and no drain in the floor…. :dry:

    was thinking about having it go into an above ground reed bed system. we have a 22000l rainwater tank we can chop into ponds. our other issue is we are in a bushfire prone area and have to be careful what plants we put in the ponds as they will be very near the house. Mind you, there is lots of other vegetation around that we can’t do much about.

    ideas? is it a crap idea?

    other suggestions?

    my house is seriously doing my head in…


    You are using the wrong term here to describe the proposed setup, aquaponics is a closed recirculating system where plants purify the water from a fishtank. Bathwater would kill fish.

    The system you want is a reed filtration pond, which should work quite well, but I would suggest an in ground earth pond, no need to be large.


    Hi gypsyoak .. you are talking about a grey-water system. (toilet water is classed as ‘black water’).

    Being ‘on a creek’, you might find it difficult these days to get council approval, but there are lots of grey-water systems out there, that do have council approval – but they will more than likely cost a bit. (if you do it officially 😉

    Are you in a position to just have it piped (via hose?) directly into the garden for irrigation? (you’d just need to move the hose from time to time so a build-up of residue doesn’t occur (think of your grease-trap))



    grrrr…wrote a long response and the forum went down……

    Basically, I was thinking of an aquaponics system- but in reverse using reed bed principles, but above ground….. make sense? lol

    so it would go bath, pond 1,(eg. reeds) pond 2,(eg. willows) pond 3, (eg. herbs/plants) pond 4 = fish. There could then be an overflow that goes to the garden. This should keep the fish water circulating and aerated.

    HOWEVER I have no idea if the water at the end of this system would be good enough for fish as I have limited space. I have a 22000L tank so thats what… 4 x 5500L ponds.

    Although a reed bed system is pretty much what I would be looking for, I can not do it anywhere on my property. There is no flat ground suitable, anything flat is on top of the creek, everything else is quite steep. Plus the council would never allow it here.

    There is 1 grey water system that is approved for our area. Although it is $15000 which we don’t have and we don’t have anywhere suitable to put it. I am not talking from an aesthetics point of view. All flat ground here is within 25m of the creek. If they try to dig it into the hill, it will compromise the road. basically we live in an ice cube tray on a hill. We are in our own little 1 acre valley that has steep hill up on 3 sides of us and the creek goes the length of the block.


    There is more to it than aeration and circulation to keep fish alive in a confined space [as you cant use a pond]

    Toxins have to removed, these will be from fish waste as well as bathwater.

    If you are trying fish I would use carp or like, not expensive fingerlings.


    thats what I was trying to do with the first 3 beds. From my understanding of a reed bed system, it has a series of ponds to filter the waste water and the last one is a functioning ecosystem. I have tropical fish, have had seahorses and looked after the large aquariums at the zoo, so I know the basics of fish keeping….just not sure about how effective a reed bed filter system is to get the water to that point, if that makes sense…. Besides, I don’t have to use the fish, I was just investigating whether I could as I was going to set up a standard a/p system and then I hit on this brainwave!! :tup:

    Ta for your fish suggestion! :hug:


    gypsyoak, in principle what you are considering is feasible. Commercial systems have worked out the maximum loadings and the plants and filter media volumes as well as the flow rate (or withholding period) required to address the nutrient load.

    Grey water treatment

    I wanted to do something similar, but EPA rules and regulations stand in the way! We’ve currently got an EPA approved Rootzone reedbed black water system being installed.

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