A hitch...

Ah the joy of the grey water planter! You have a shower, do a load of washing or the dishes, and all that lovely dirty water swills down the drain to your indoor botanical cell, running through gravel, plant roots and peat moss until it collects, pretty much cleansed of odour and gack, in a small well to be pumped into your toilet cistern instead of using perfectly good, precious in fact, drinking water to flush.
That is the theory anyway. We have been having a little bit of trouble with our planter. The water doesn't flow as serenely as it ought and we are ending up with very wet soil, an overflowing entry point and only just enough water for the toilet. Somewhere, something is slowing things down a bit too much. Not a disaster but a bit of a bother.
We are absolutely loathe to dig the whole planter up - the plants as you can see are gorgeous, lush, healthy, flowering, fabulous. But I have the sneaking suspicion that we put too much sand and soil on top and it is somehow getting down into the gravel and clogging the planter. Argh.
Any suggestions?


  1. You will have to make inspection holes. They do not have to be large, just small enough to see where do the water stay.

    http://aardskip.blogspot.com or wwww.earthship.tk

  2. Thanks, we did look through to see where it was pooling and found that the peat moss was stopping a lot of it, so we made a channel of rocks and gravel sort of through the peat moss and now it seems to be flowing like it should. Hopefully it will stay that way!

  3. Dear Oscar and Lisa,

    The concept from Michael Raynolds about wastewater treatment is not reliable.

    In a purification system with plants for only gray wastewater, the bacteria and plants will have a lack of food and minerals to break down the waste completely.

    House plants are not the best purificators by nature!

    It is better to build the purification system with plants outside with domestic wild water plants and wild marsh plants.

    Collect all the gray and black wastewater in a septic tank for all wastewaters with a minimum content of 6m³ (for max. 5 persons) and afterwards the wastewater goes to a plant purification system with sludge composting.

    You can then use the plant container inside for after cleansing! (see schedule)

    It is better to use a lava filter instead of silicic (gravel) and sand.

    I hope I was a bit of help to you and send you kind regards,

    Marc Daelemans


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