Instructables

Washing Machine drain water disposal

Having had a washing machine drain line problem this weekend, I began wondering about ways of disposing of the drain water. With the soap and bleach I'm not sure of just pumping in to the lawn. This time of the year (Summer) the ground around the house slab get very dry and separates from the slab and I was thinking drain water might help but again not sure of yard and flower effects. Seem like a huge waster of reusable water. Any ideas?

use a plastic drum course grave in the bottom finer on that to sand on the top could filter the water enough to remove the harsh soap as well as the yucky stuff. our farm years ago used this sort to filter a muddy stream for the livestock drinking water. Warning! this would not remove germs so will not make potable water (cows dont care) BTW in south Florida the wash water runs into the back yard (no phosphate in soap any more)
heifler6 years ago
Maybe your posting should be flagged as spam since you labeled my posting as such and it is highly instructional. Gray water dumping is illegal in Los Angeles county where I live. Bob Heifler
uguy (author)  heifler6 years ago
Well, if you live in LA I would suggest you not do this. As I do not live in LA I will consider my options.
Kiteman heifler6 years ago
I just looked at your "posting" - it's spam, and I've flagged it as such.

This is a forum thread, asking a sensible question.

What you're doing - hunting down an old thread to try and make some sort of revenge-point - is quite against the spirit of the site and breaks the "be nice" policy clearly stated when you reply to any post or comment.

You're only new to the site, so we'll cut you some slack. Just be warned - neither spam nor trolls are tolerated here.
Thanks for doing my job better than I can do it myself!
> preens <

Then realises it means I spend more time roaming the forums than the site's owner...
Not necessarily; you just found this one first. I find all sorts of stuff first, and sometimes remove it before anyone else sees it. Maybe we should install "time on site" meters and measure!!
jtobako6 years ago
My dad uses an open trench for washing machine water-it's about 6 inches wide and maybe 10 feet long. Nothing grows in the trench, but lots grows around it : ) One thing to note-the area is all sand, so the water soaks in quickly. A film of lint does form in the trench, so it wouldn't work in a sprinkler system without filtering, but the soaps and such don't seem to affect the nearby plants.
Goodhart7 years ago
Category 2 Water - Water containing a significant degree of chemical, biological and/or physical contamination and having the potential to cause discomfort or sickness if consumed by or exposed to humans. Category 2 water is also referred to as “gray water.” Gray water carries microorganisms and nutrients for microorganisms.

Examples of gray water sources may include, but are not necessarily limited to the following:
• Discharge from dishwashers or washing machines;
• Overflows from toilet bowls with some urine (no feces)
• Sump pump failures;
• Seepage due to hydrostatic pressure;
• Chilled and condensate water; and
• Fire Protection Sprinkler Water.

Gray water may contain chemicals, biocontaminants (fungal, bacterial, viral algae) and other forms of contamination including physical hazards.

Time and temperature aggravate category 2 water contamination levels significantly. Gray water in flooded structures that remains untreated for longer than 48 hours may change to category 3 - black water.
You might want to check the legality, some locals have tighter standards than others. I'd love to use my gray water for irrigation but where I live it's only allowed to be used to flush toilets, must be chlorinated, dyed blue and the system be installed by a licensed contractor and permitted up the wazoo.
Kiteman7 years ago
We are frequently exhorted to water our gardens with bathwater, so why not WMC water as well? If the soap was toxic enough to do damage to the lawn, it shouldn't be in your clothes, surely? If you're not sure, try watering a little-loved pot plant with the water for a week or two, see what happens?
uguy (author)  Kiteman7 years ago
You must live in front of your computer to answer this fast. Thanks for your thoughts.
Or was at his computer when you asked :p Bleach water is probably not a good idea... I believe there are eco-safe detergents that can be used to prevent any problems with lawn watering ;)
If I'm not at the computer, something else is happening - school, marking, Making, or (in this case) Sarah Jane Adventures (the latest Dr Who spinoff, rather good, though probably a little "British" for most readers' tastes).
Some of my favorite programming is from the BBC! I look forward to this spinoff when it reaches the States. As to the Washer drainage, there was an Instructable about reusing the grey-water for lawns and garden... To lazy at the moment to look it up.
Treat yourself to a preview: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sja/
HamO LasVegas7 years ago
LV, thanks, I'm looking for it now.
You can make filter columns from a length of tubing, pebbles, grit, and sand. Greywater goes in the top and trickles down the column through progressively finer graded material. When the water reaches the bottom it should be clean. The solids removed are then slowly broken down by microbial action. Cheers, Pat. Pending
I found this link to a 45 page PDF guidebook Using Graywater in Your Home landscape

Pat. Pending
Pat, thanks that looks great. Got me thinking of doing more that I originally thought I would.
NachoMahma7 years ago
. I water my lawn with washing machine water all the time (hasn't been hooked to the drain in years), but I don't use bleach very often.