Content for id "text" Goes Here

Grey Water Treatment

Toll-free: 877.713.7858

Washington State Gray Water Requirements
CommonGreywater Mistakes
Additional Reading Materials
Brac Systems
Need More Info?

Links to Related Web Sites

Mandating Purple Pipes for Reuse in AZ and BC
Tuesday, December 16, 2008

A trend towards accepting “The Greywater Recycling Concept” is forming with North American Officials. Earlier this year, The Government for the Province of British Columbia had stated that by 2010, greywater piping systems would be mandated in all new residential construction. The trend continued with the City of Tucson, Arizona mandating the same systems by mid 2009. This is proof that Greywater Recycling Systems are becoming an accepted and mainstream solution for reducing indoor water consumption, thereby helping to sustain our most precious natural resource.


     The INFILTRATOR with micro-leaching chambers is an effective improvement over standard gravel and pipe drainfields.  The infiltrator units measure 3'x6'x1', weigh about 30 pounds, are available in 12" or 15" depth, and can store 66 gallons (standard) or 110 gallons (high capacity infiltrator); this storage volume is three or more times greater than a gravel trench.  These sections fasten together with self-drilling screws, and the entire system can be delivered in one pickup truck and installed by one person with a backhoe, level and rake.   The entire bottom of the trench provides a perfect unmasked infiltrative surface, the side wall is designed to minimize the masking effect, there is no vertical silt intrusion, and the micro-leaching chambers create voids for optimal biomat formation and the 1/4" slots provide open area equal to the porosity of the sides of a gravel trench. These structurally tested infiltrators are great for drain fields, mounds, pressure systems, and storm water management.  They are made in Connecticut, and are locally available.

  • Simple
  • Energy efficient
  • Low maintenance
  • Low power consumption
  • Adjustability to peak loading or idling
  • Low construction cost for both new and repair systems
  • Can be expanded and added onto to meet new volume requirements
  • Can replace or upgrade old or failed systems that do not meet current discharge standards

Here it is!  At last there is a gray water treatment system that works for both single family residences as well as for entire communities.
The AIRR (Alternating Intermittent Recirculating Reactor) system is a breakthrough in blackwater systems, and is an innovative alternative for the conventional drainfield. Because it is actually designed to treat blackwater (toilet water), it most definitely will handle greywater, particularly when combined with low-flush composting toilets.

    Approved by the state of Washington as a standardreciruclating sand filter, it solves some perk problems by turning sewer effluent into reusable water biologically and with no offensive odor.  The treated water is many times clearer than EPA swimming standards.  This clear sparkling water is suitable for futher processing and for recycling and re-use in non-potable applications.  The AIRR clear water can be discharged underground into drainfields, or into salt water, streams and rivers, or can be used to irrigate golf courses, parks, ski resorts, forests or farm land.
    The system consists of a septic/dosing tank, a biological reactor containing both secondary and tertiary sections, a simple cover structure, a recirculating tank and a discharge tank or pipe; circuit board control is an option.  The size of the reactor depends on the amount of gallons that need to be processed per day.  The reactor's size is based on five gallons per square foot per day.  An AIRR system can be designed for a single residence or an entire community. The AIRR system has many features.  One is low maintenance.  Regular septic tank pumping, periodic visual inspection of the sprinkler heads and pumps, and normal routine maintenance of the cover structure is all that is needed.  Other features include low construction cost for both new and repair systems, energy efficient low power consumption, adjustability to peak loading or idling, it can replace or upgrade old or failed systems that do not meet current discharge standards, and the system can be expanded and added onto to meet new volume requirements.
    So why doesn't everyone with problem soils use an AIRR system?  It's like a miniature sewage treatment plant with tertiary treatment!  Because most counties still insist on subsurface disposal of all water, whether gray or black.  This means that most counties still insist that a drainfield, mound system, sand filter, or leach field be installed, regardless of the water's cleanliness, for single-family residences.  If the system is used by a community and a maintenance person supervises its operation, then the state will permit discharge into existing waterways in most areas.  Having been producing excellent results since 1977, the AIRR manufacturers claim that drainfields could be reduced by 90% down to only 10% of the normal requirements. Unfortunately, some counties do not trust the individual homeowner to maintain such a system properly, so it is important to check with your local county authorities.  The AIRR system is made in Henderson, near Las VegasNV.

This proprietary product is listed in the department's List of Approved Systems and Products ( It is classified as a Packed Bed Filtration / Attached Growth Process (P. 18). It is also listed as meeting the BOD and TSS parameters for Treatment Standards 1 and 2, but must use disinfection to meet the 3rd parameter of these treatment standards, Fecal Coliform. This information is on pp. 34-38 of the above-cited List of Approved Systems and Products.

Read more and see photo: AIRR

For further information, contact
or call (877) 713-7858

Greywater Recycling System

    The Brac Greywater Recycling System is a compact residential gray water recycling system, and is a must for anyone who cares about the environment. Brac systems are designed to fit into conventional houses, apartments and buildings.  A Brac System can help you save 35% to 40% off your daily water usage as well as your annual water bill.  While saving money, you will also help save the environment and provide a better future for our children and their children to come. With this amount of savings, your Brac Greywater Recycling System pays itself.  Not only does Brac Systems hold an international patent, but it is also one of very few greywater systems that is approved by many local county officials.


  • Reuse your greywater to flush your toilets
  • Use your treated greywater for irrigation.
  • Use it to harvest rainwater.
"UNESCO has predicted that by 2020 water shortage will be a serious worldwide problem."

Click here to see the annual maintenance costs of a Brac System.


Gray Water in Washington State

The department's policy and recommended standards and guidance regarding gray water (a.k.a. greywater) are contained in the Recommended Standards and Guidance for Water Conserving Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems ( Essentially you treat it as any other sewage discharge.

"Greywater systems are virtually the same as combined-wastewater on-site sewage systems.  Gravity flow greywater systems consist of a septic tank and a subsurface drainfield.  Pressurized greywater systems consist of a septic tank, a pump chamber or vault, and a subsurface drainfield.  Other types of alternative systems, pre-treatment methods and drainfield design and materials options may also be incorporated in greywater systems.

The primary distinction between a greywater system and a combined wastewater system is the lower volume of wastewater.   As a result the size of the septic tank and the subsurface drainfield is smaller compared to a system that treats and disposes of all the household wastewater (combined) through a septic tank and drainfield.

(To help assure that future household fixture and/or plumbing changes do not overload the greywater treatment and disposal system, the household and system plumbing must be clearly identified GREYWATER ONLY-NOT FOR COMBINED WASTEWATER .) "

The Brac Systems are approved in King and PierceCounties.


     The first question that comes with the topic of waterless toilets is whether or not a drainfield is still necessary.  The logical answer is no, but the legal answer is yes. Graywater -- sink, shower, bath and laundry water -- must be disposed of beneath the surface of the soil, unless you can think of an inexpensive way to evaporate it.  (If you do, call me.)  Although in the soil few viruses can survive very long since it is cold, the distance between grains of sand are great, and there are predators that eat viruses, still viruses can travel up to three feet from the source in dry soil; however, when transported in water, viruses have been detected thirty feet from the source and can even go farther. Consequently, in order to prevent the health hazards presented by contact with viruses, pathogens and bacteria, graywater must be disposed of in a drainfield, mound system or an approved leach field at least one hundred feet from any water -- pond, lake, house, stream, well, beach, etc.  In 1977 the state of Washington put out a set of guidelines approving composting toilets and allowing with their use a reduction of the septic tank
size by fifty percent and of the drainfield size by forty percent.  The size of a drainfield is determined by the number of bedrooms in the house, with each bedroom representing two full-time users.  The current state guidelines are even more versed in the application of alternative systems.  Ask DSHS in Olympia for a copy.  If you run into a political obstacle in your area, there are, remember, exceptions to everything and variants can be applied for.


This site is essential reading for anyone considering installing a greywater system. It covers the most common mistakes and misconceptions pertaining to greywater treatment and design, and answers the most frequently asked questions.  Go to


Create an Oasis with Greywate by Art Ludwig, revised Feb. 2000

Building Professional's Greywater Guide by Art Ludwig, revised 1999

Greywater Guide: Using Greywater in Your Home Landscape by CA Dept. of Water Resources, 1994
P.O. Box 942836

Solviva: How to Grow $500,000 on One Acre by Anna Edey This book, written by Anna Edey in the late 1990's discusses greywater use within a greenhouse arrangement.
See, or write to
Solviva Solar-Dynamic Bio-Benign Design, RSD 1, Box 582, Vineyard Haven, Mass 02568

Drip Irrigation for Every Landscape and All Climates by Robert Kourik, 1992

Domestic Greywater Reuse: Overseas Practice and it's Applicability to Australia by Barry Jeppesen
& David Solley, 1994, Urban Water Research Association, Melbourne Water, GPO Box 4342
Melbourned 3001 AUSTRALIA

Geoflow Subsurface Dripline Design & Installation manual for Small Systems, 1997

Grey Water Use in the Home Garden from the Farallone Institute, 1978
Integral Urban House, 1516 Fifth St., Berkeley, CA 94710
OR:       The Rural Center, 15290 Coleman Valley Rd., Occidental, CA 95465


YELM, Washington, January 24, 2002 (ENS) - A water reclamation project in YelmWashington was honored with the state's highest environmental award for reclaiming and re-using 100 percent of its treated wastewater. The Environmental Excellence Award is given to individuals, businesses or groups that exemplify model behavior for the overall benefit of the environment. The award is the state's highest honor for work that benefits the environment, according to Linda Hoffman, deputy director of the Department of Ecology. Hoffmann presented the award to Yelm Mayor Adam Rivas at a city council meeting.
    "Yelm is a role model to the rest of Washington's cities. As the competition for water heats up among people, fish and business uses, reusing water is the way to go," Hoffmann said.
    Yelm reclaims all of its wastewater to irrigate landscaping at churches, parks, a football field and one residence. The water also is added to streams and is used to recharge water underground at a city wetland park that includes a catch and release fish pond for rainbow trout. The community now reuses 200,000 gallons of water a day, and expects to someday reuse up to one million gallons of water a day. One benefit of reusing water is that it allows the city to extend the life of its drinking water, Hoffmann said.
    Most cities discard their treated wastewater on land or in water under the requirements of Department of Ecology permits. The Ecology Department says Yelm is a role model to the rest of Washington's cities in how to accommodate the increasing water demands by residences, businesses and environmental needs.

* * *


Grey Water

AIRR (SPEC Industries)  Economical and efficient gray and black water treatment system for single residences, communities, and entire towns
Living Machine Waste Treatment:

GFX Greywater heat recovery system. (Combines well with a Brac System.)
Oasis Graywater Systems This site is essential reading for anyone considering installing a greywater system. It covers the most common mistakes and misconceptions pertaining to greywater treatment and design, and answers the most frequently asked questions.

Drainfield Alternatives
Septic Tanks  All about septic tanks.
Spartan Water Treatment  Water treatment systems for industrial and municipal: electrolytic organic destruction.
Electric Powered Wastewater Evaporators
Wastewater Treatment:  A high technology company that focuses on water treatment: aquaculture, wastewater, industrial, aerobic, and chemicals.
All Water About Waste Water

Residential System | Water Recycling Systems
Whole House Water Filter – PuriTeam
Whole house water filtration, water purification, and water treatment systems provider. PuriTeam works to create a safe environment for your family.
Greywater recycling projects | Greywater Action
Envirolet® Greywater Solutions - sink, shower, dishwasher water
Envirolet Composting Toilets are an environment-friendly sanitation solution for homes, cottage, cabins and more.
Grey Water Systems | Gray Water Systems | Greywater Recycling System
Discover the features of our grey water systems; Easy setup, fully automatic, low maintenance, and Great Price! Best seller in the US. Visit us to order your greywater system!
Greywater Reuse, Grey Water Reuse - Aqua2use
Aqua2Use Greywater Recycling System - RainHarvest Systems Online Store for Rainwater Collection, Filtering and Sustainable Re-use.
The Aqua2use GWDD is the most efficient and advanced greywater diversion device available on the market. It works with your existing plumbing and connects easily to your drip irrigation system. The system includes pump, filters, sensors and timer.
Greywater Systems | Aqua2use Grey Water Systems | Gray Water
Water Wise Group is the biggest distributor of grey water systems in the US. Greywater systems, filters and greywater irrigation kit available online at discounted prices.


Greywater Re-Use
SinkPositive is a retrofit for your toilet lid that turns it into a sink.



Greywater System, Above Grade, Voltage 12, 1-1/2 In Inlet, 1/2 In Outlet, Basin Height 15-1/2 In, Basin Capacity 5.5 gal., Cord Length 4 ft.

AQUS® Water Recycling SystemReuses captured lavatory sink water to fill the tank on a gravity-fed toilet. Unit has a 12VDC pump with average flow rate of 1.6 gal. per 1 min. 12 sec. Vanity tank reservoir is 15-1/2 x 15-1/2 x 8-3/4" and has a tablet dispenser for chlorine tablets (not included), used to help control bacteria and other contaminants. Includes vanity tank-to-toilet tank connection hardware.

     If you need more information, require consultation, would like to see a functioning unit,or want more literature, please contact me on either my Seattle line at (206) 324-5055, on my Whidbey line at (360) 730-7992, or toll-free at (877) 713-7858.

Your decision to obtain and use any of these alternative systems is a necessary step toward the future direction of the entire concept of"waste disposal."  You are welcome to make an appointment to visit my own personalClivusMultrum, CTS, electric car, organic garden, solar collectors, compact fluorescent lights, windmill, and water purifiers, in my home built of recycled materials.  I am along-term, dependable, committed proponent for these and other appropriate technological solutions to a more sensible, aware, and vitally improved lifestyle.  Join meand let's improve the world one more way.

Pick up your phone and call me today:
(206) 324-5055 / (360) 730-7992
Toll-free: (877) 713-7858

Dean Petrich

Return to top
Return to HOME page