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Aussies Living Simply

reed bed filtration for greywater?

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    Hi all, well after much patience I think I’ve convinced DH that maybe a composting loo wouldn’t be so bad after all. :tup: So change of plans, which now brings me to what to do about grey water. I like the idea of a natural solution that I can DIY, so I was wondering about reed beds.

    Has anybody here made a reed bed greywater filtration system? What does your design look like? What plants did you use? Has it worked well? I’d especially love to hear from anybody who’s had any trouble with such a system.

    I’d want it to take all the waste water including the kitchen, and I want the discharge for irrigation (subsurface and/or drippers).




    I don’t know if was in an album or a post Jean but Creative1/CreativeOne did one and posted photos.


    Oooh, thanks Tully! I’ll have a search of the pics. :clap:


    Found an article here:

    I love this site! :hug:


    There’s a book I have on my wishlist that’s called (Creating?) An Oasis from Greywater or something like that. Amazon have it and possibly the UK place, the book suppository

    Oh, and maybe the Good Life Bookshop :tup:


    g’day jean,

    keep it simple hey? use at as fresh as it comes, make your own laundry gel(recipe on our site), a number of us here are now not or hardly using shampoo’s just water anyway there are “earth” friendly solutions as with dishwashing the same (oh do the dishes by hand not machine, 2 of us get away with washing each second or third day we do pre-rinse them and that value added water gets added to my wee water fro the plants), and feed it direct to gardens or fruit trees.

    a reed bed system will suck up more water than you will produce (that is if your management of water has you running at say 50 to 100 litres per day per person overall, 2 of us run on thqt as a total), grey water is a valuable resource fro the gardens etc.,.

    you’ll be unlikley to continually use the water in one spot.

    mostly our laundry water waters potted plants, sometimes it goes on the gardens, we use 2 buckets in the shwer and this water along with some of the laundry water flushes our toilet, but with you that water could be directed straight to food plants.

    tell dh talk to len, been there done that, he has nothing to fear but fear itself.



    We bought dad three reed beds for his old septic system. The idea was to convert the old system to something a bit newer. The rectangular 2 foot deep tubs were from a water tank manufacturer and specifically designed for reed beds. They have tree root resistent plastic. We have not done this yet, but research has us filling them with medium sized gravel, each bed is a little below each other so that the water stays in the system for 5-7 days, the top of the beds are level with the ground and can be walked over, the water level is maintained below the top of the gravel so no risk to children. The reed varieties were sourced from a local farmers dam, this is a prolific local variety.

    The best source for our research was the local council regulations, the scientific studies into reed bed performance, then actual installations. The net has a wealth of knowledge on it.


    Thanks for all the replies! :hug:

    Tully what is the Good Life Bookshop? Is that online?

    Len I know you are right – we would get more water onto our plants by bucketing direct, but we’ll have a large property, and I want a more automated system. The food forest area won’t be right next to the house, and I’d like to direct the greywater there. We should still have plenty of water for the kitchen garden, especially going to waterless toilets. I’ve calculated we’ll have about 200,000 litres rain collected p.a. – we’ll have a big barn and I’m designing the house to have quite a large undercover living/outdoor cooking area, so big roof on a small house. (Yes, that calculation is based on “avarage rainfall” assuming we ever get it 😐 but I have to say I’ve had enough of the “drought” we’ve had here since we arrived in January. 😆 Since April I’ve been living in a Chinese laundry with washing draped all over the house because it rains all the time!)

    CH that sounds like what we want. I had been assuming I’d DIY but that system sounds very convenient if it’s not too expensive. Do you mind my asking how much the materials cost?



    Aunty PearlAunty Pearl

    Good Life Bookshop, is linked to Earth Garden Magazine. Their catalogue gets sent to me. When the catalogue arrives, I want to order almost everything! (cept for those books with the “chillies” next to them:shy: ) 😆


    I have searched kiwimama but cant find the supplier, it was through our local produce store. About $300 a reed bed. The three tank volume was more than enough for our septic. After the third bed the water is pipped under the orchard.



    Understanding it is a bit late in the piece – who did you use in oz for this system?



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