How To Divert Washing Machine Discharge From The Septic Tank? (Best solution)

  • This is one of many relatively simple options for solving this problem. For nonregulated residential locations, bypassing the septic tank is as easy as removing the washing machine drain hose from the standpipe next to the machine, and then placing it in a pipe you have installed that drains the water to a barrel.

Does a washing machine drain go to the septic tank?

Wastewater from your washing machine and dishwasher may either go to your septic tank and/or cesspool or to a separate disposal system called a dry well. This wastewater can be problematic due to its high concentrations of soaps and detergents, grease and paper.

Can I drain my washing machine outside?

It’s not to plumbing code if it’s just discharged onto the yard. If used for subsurface irrigation, it can be a compliant greywater system, with the plants acting as a biofilter.

Does washing machine drain into sewer line?

Washing machine drains are fed by an electric pump, which moves water from inside the cleaning drum, through a flexible drain hose on the underside of the machine, and out into your home sewer system where it makes its way out of the house.

How do I discharge my washing machine water?

If not, follow these steps:

  1. Step 1: Turn off the power and lay down towels. For safety, unplug the machine.
  2. Step 2: Locate the drain hose at the back of the washing machine.
  3. Step 3: Drain the water.
  4. Step 1: Turn off the power and lay down towels.
  5. Step 2: Locate the drain hose.
  6. Step 3: Drain the water.
  7. Step 4: Scrub the filter.

Are long showers bad for septic systems?

Washing frequent, small loads of laundry or taking exceptionally long showers every day is all it takes to overload your septic system with too much water. The primary treatment tank needs time to break up solids before partly-treated water can enter the drain field.

How many loads of laundry a day are safe to do with a septic tank?

Spread Out Laundry Loads These use less water which puts less stress on your septic system. Regardless of the type of appliance you have, you should still spread out your loads. Instead of doing several loads in one day, consider doing 1 load per day or space out 2 loads if you must do more in a single day.

How do I clear my washing machine drain pipe?

To unclog a clogged drain, first fill a bucket with boiling water and a pack of baking soda. Remove the drain pipe from your washing machine and slowly pour the water into the drain using a funnel. Wait a few minutes and test if it keeps draining if you pour water into it.

How do you slow down a washing machine drain?

A solution to your problem is to put a restriction in your washing machine discharge hose to slow down its flow to what your drain can handle. Just don’t slow it down to the point that your washing machine timer times out and goes on to the next step in the cycle!

Does a washing machine drain need to be vented?

All plumbing fixtures— including washing machines—must be vented. Improperly vented drains can be sluggish and noisy, and can emit hazardous fumes. Properly vented drains allow the P-trap to do its job: prevent sewer gases from escaping into your home. distance between the washing machine and the vent.

How do I get the water out of my washing machine that won’t drain?

What to Do When Your Washing Machine Won’t Drain

  1. Perform a Master Reset. Unplug your washer for about one minute.
  2. Test the Lid Switch Assembly.
  3. See if the Drain Hose is Kinked.
  4. Check the Drain Hose or Pump for Clogs.
  5. Clean out the Coin Trap.
  6. Check the Water Level Control.
  7. Schedule Washing Machine Repair.

How do I stop my washing machine mid cycle?

Turn the dial cycle on the front of your washing machine to the “0” or “OFF” position that indicates the end of the washing cycle. The appliance will then drain away any water from the washing drum before unlocking the door, letting you make necessary adjustments or add/remove items from the machine.

How do you seal a washing machine drain hose?

Slide the clamp approximately 1 inch up from the end of the hose. Slip the hose end with the clamp over the outlet at the bottom of the back of the washing machine. Tighten the screw on the hose clamp with a flat-head screwdriver to cinch the band. The tightened band will seal the drain hose around the outlet.

How to Drain the Graywater From the Washing Machine Without a Septic Tank

Reusing wash water for landscape irrigation is an easy and environmentally good activity that anybody can do. Many towns have restrictions governing the use of grey water by inhabitants, but if you live outside of the city borders, you may be able to build your own system. Washing machines consume an average of 41 gallons of water every load, making them an excellent source of grey water — that is, water that is not intended for toilet flushing but is utilized for washing. Divert the water into the outside environment rather than into the septic system for really environmentally friendly living.

TL;DR (Too Long; Didn’t Read)

Replace the drain hose on your washing machine with a pipe that drains water straight into a barrel in order to properly remove gray water from the machine. This is one of a number of reasonably straightforward solutions to the situation at hand.

Identifying Nonregulated Locations

For non-regulated residential sites, bypassing the septic tank is as simple as pulling the washing machine drain line from the standpipe next to the machine and inserting it into a pipe you have constructed that drains the water to a barrel or other container. Instead, you may route the wash water to an irrigation system that you have already established across the landscape. This might be a network of connected 1-inch PVC plumbing pipes in which you have drilled little drain holes, or it could be something else entirely.

As an alternative, if you are utilizing a barrel for grey water collection, you may use smaller containers to hand-water from the barrel.

Exploring Regulated Locations

When it comes to using household grey water, towns and counties frequently have health rules in place that are meant to safeguard the fresh water supply from pollution. San Luis Obispo County in California, for example, mandates the installation of a sump, which is a gravel-filled trench, to filter out toxins in grey water as it runs into the landscaping of homes that reuse laundry water. Additionally, because water used to wash diapers or sickbed linens may contain germs, the county mandates that homeowners ensure that such wash water is properly disposed of in the septic tank or sewer drain system.

Grey Water and Landscaping

If you want to get the most out of your grey water irrigation system, you need choose your laundry additives carefully. Even though a little quantity of phosphorus in laundry detergent may have a beneficial impact on plantings, soaps containing salt for water softening can build up in the soil, leading it to become alkaline and hence detrimental to the health of many plants. The use of detergents that are low in sodium, on the other hand, results in a greener landscape.

Additional Important Considerations

You should avoid irrigating sloping regions where runoff might infringe on your property borders if you want to keep grey water contained within your own surroundings. Maintain touch with the food itself while watering vegetable gardens by keeping the grey water at ground level rather than sprinkling from above, with the exception of root vegetables, to avoid contact with the produce itself. Intermittently irrigating with grey water and fresh water can assist in flushing any grey water contaminants deep into the soil, which functions as a natural filter to further purify the water as it sinks into the earth.

Throughout my career, I have built a reputation as an environmental activist, both via the organization I co-founded – see – and through the publication of a series of opinion articles in Montana newspapers.

Alternative energy, recycling, and endangered animals are topics on which I have written extensively.

How to Drain the Grey Water From the Washing Machine Without a Septic Tank

A washing machine creates grey water, which often contains dissolved detergent and grime – but not polluted trash – and may thus be used as an excellent supply of irrigation water in some situations. There are at least two approaches to establishing a system for recycling it. It is advisable to dig a dry well to allow the waste to soak into the earth if you do not wish to recycle it and do not have a septic tank in which to dispose of it.

Recycling Grey Water

It is permissible to use washing machine water for subsurface irrigation to water trees, shrubs, and all parts of vegetable plants except the edible parts, as long as you use the proper ingredients in the machine and are not washing diapers or other clothing or items that may contain biological contaminants (root vegetables should not be watered with grey water). Natural, biodegradable soaps and detergents are the best components for this job. Bleach, dye, salts, and goods containing boron should be avoided since they are hazardous to plants.

It is just as effective and will not affect the environment.

Recycling Systems

It takes little more than a storage tank and a gravity-fed irrigation line to set up a basic washing machine grey water recycling system. It is possible to use something as basic as a 33-gallon plastic waste bucket to collect the water that drains from the washing machine. A valve regulates the flow of the hose, which exits from the bottom of the tank. When you switch on the valve, you’ll have access to a supply of gravity-fed water for the first time. The installation of an irrigation pipe network and the connection of the pipes to the tank allows you to create a more complicated system.

Recycling Guidelines

The ideal grey water recycling system is a basic one that functions without pumps and filters. It stores and disperses grey water with limited exposure to humans, and it contains a means to conveniently disperse unused water. Some jurisdictions tightly restrict the storage and usage of grey water. California was the first state to offer grey water reuse facility permits, but they were so stringent that most homeowners built illegal systems. Although the state relaxed its code in 2009, it is still very specific in many details, such as the location of a grey water system, the construction of holding tanks, and the venting of those holding tanks.

Installing a Dry Well

There are a variety of reasons why you could decide not to recycle washing machine grey water. If you don’t have one, digging a dry well is a straightforward way to dispose of it. In order to convert between a grey water system and a septic system, however, it is also possible to install a 3-way valve. It’s essentially a hole in the ground with a perforated liner composed of fiberglass, plastic, or concrete that’s been covered with a cover. You may even use gravel to fill up the hole as long as you keep it covered.

When installing a dry well, it is critical to choose a place with sufficient drainage. Otherwise, the grey water may pool on the ground, causing smells and mosquito breeding grounds.

Draining washing machine into yard

The question has been seen 112k times. Short and to the point. First and foremost, we are on a septic system. We’re in the state of Mississippi. We had to get a plumber to snake the drain on our washing machine since one load poured liters of water into the laundry area, resulting in us having to purchase a new washing machine to deal with the mess we had created. According to the plumber, the old cast iron pipes have become entirely clogged with black sludge, and snaking it accomplishes absolutely nothing.

  1. Please keep in mind that this line links our washing machine to our kitchen sink.
  2. The problem is that the jetter may or may not function properly.
  3. Because it is only the washing machine and kitchen sink that are being used, rather than the toilet, the plumber recommended that it be routed into the yard.
  4. So, is it safe to let the pipe flow into the yard for now?
  5. A professional plumber would never instruct us to do something that is against the law, but you never know with these people.
  6. We are in close proximity to a lake (a few hundred yards or less), so it is a source of anxiety for me as well.
  7. asked Dec 16, 2014, 17:19 p.m.
See also:  What Causes A Stopped Up Septic Tank?

1 silver insignia 2 bronze medallions What you’re searching for is the Laundry-to-Landscape method, which works as follows: This system performs admirably and is simple to put into place at a reasonable cost for the end user.

And, unless you’re washing poopy diapers, laundry is treated as graywater, which means it poses no health risks.

However, do not simply toss it on the ground.

1 Anyone who fertilizes their lawn or shrubs is almost certainly increasing the amount of phosphates in their landscaping.

This definitely reduces the strain on my septic tank by half, if not more, as a result of this.

22, 2017, 13:56 p.m.

In the case of subsurface irrigation, it may be utilized to create a greywater system that is consistent with regulations, with the plants functioning as a biofilter.

This is even more reason not to, given the “near-lake” position.

Although no one was killed as a result of it, I would not put it up that way now.

answered Dec 16, 2014, 17:33 p.m.

Putting washing machine water into your septic system is actually a bad idea, considering the amount of wear and tear it will put on your system as the single greatest depositor.

Of course, a grey water tank and pump would be beneficial, but they are not required.

answered 3rd of January, 2017 at 13:061 In the majority of states, it is against the law to dump greywater straight on the ground.

Greywater must be treated with a filter system and a disinfection system; it cannot be just discharged to the ground anyplace (legally) that I am aware of.

As previously stated in a prior piece, water from the kitchen sink is NOT considered greywater, but rather blackwater. answered 8th of January, 2018 at 2:221

Not the answer you’re looking for? Browse other questions taggedplumbingwashing-machinedrainageorask your own question.

If you live in a property that is serviced by a septic tank system, you may have heard horror stories of catastrophic floods brought on by washing machines. Fortunately, most contemporary septic systems are well capable of managing wastewater from your washing machine. However, reckless usage of your washing machine can still cause major problems in your septic tank and lines. Washing machines may cause major damage to septic systems, thus it is best to err on the side of caution to avoid this.

  • 1.
  • It is dependent on colonies of helpful bacteria to keep septic tanks running smoothly.
  • Phosphates and surfactants are common ingredients in laundry detergents.
  • Detergents are diluted in laundry water so that they do not kill bacteria under normal conditions, but using too much detergent can expose bacteria to toxic amounts of these chemicals, which can be harmful to them.
  • When you use too much washing powder, the undissolved powder will clump together inside your septic system, causing it to back up.
  • As long as you use the proper quantity of detergent with each load of laundry, you should not have any of these issues to contend with.
  • Regularly clean the lint filters.

clumps of lint can escape from the filter and block the septic system if they get stuck in the septic pipes.

If this happens, the septic system can become severely clogged.

Organic fibers in the lint, such as threads from polyester or nylon clothes, will be digested by the bacteria in the tank, while non-organic fibers will be left to settle at the bottom of the tank.


Washing machines consume a lot of water, and washing several loads of laundry in a short period of time might cause your septic tank system to overflow.

Consequently, drainfield obstruction and pollution can occur, resulting in major issues that are typically expensive to treat.

With a tank that is large enough to accommodate many average-sized loads in a day, you should have no trouble washing numerous loads each day.


Another option is to get a modern washing machine, which will prevent your tank from being overloaded with laundry water.

Although they are more expensive, a recent washing machine will allow you to do laundry more frequently without having to worry about septic system difficulties.

Please call the septic system professionals atPete’s Outflow Technicians for professional guidance and recommendations if you have any more concerns about how to safeguard your septic system.

Washing Machine Effects on Septic Tanks

  • Post a QUESTION or COMMENT regarding septic system maintenance in situations when a washing machine is utilized and the water drains into a septic tank.

InspectAPedia does not allow any form of conflict of interest. The sponsors, goods, and services described on this website are not affiliated with us in any way. A comparison between clothing washers and sewer systems is shown. Are clothes washers or “washing machines” permitted in homes that are connected to a privately owned sewage treatment system? What precautions should be taken to preserve the septic system from being overburdened with water, clothing lint, or laundry detergents? Here’s how to extend the life of your septic tank.

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Washing Machine Draining into Septic System

  • And the EFFECTS of LAUNDRY BLEACH on SEPTIC are all to be minimized.

Does a washing machine overload and harm the septic system?

With a standard septic system in excellent operating order, the volume of water generated by the usage of a household washing machine should not pose an issue. It was previously addressed atDishwashers that there are several circumstances in which you should avoid emptying washing machine output into the septic system:

  • If the absorption system (leach field or drainfield) has a restricted ability to absorb wastewater, then the drainfield capacity restrictions are applicable. Drainfields on the verge of failure: If the absorption system is showing signs of failure, such as effluent coming to the surface of the land or backing up into the structure (you will still need a septic field assessment and repair), you should contact a professional.

Steps you may take to reduce the potential negative impacts of increased wastewater loads generated by washing machines are discussed below. We also examine the effects of detergents and soaps when using a clothes washer that is linked to a sewer system or a drywell, which are discussed below.

Does Washing Machine Detergent Harm the Septic Tank or Septic System Drainfield?

In most cases, the volume of detergent from a domestic clothes washer entering the septic system is so little that it is extremely dilute when it enters the septic tank, dilute enough that it will not affect the septic tank microorganisms under normal conditions of residential dishwasher usage. Machine for washing clothes Inside the machine, detergents do not produce a significant amount of suds. Cleansing them requires the use of detergents as well as high water temperatures as well as considerable time spent churning the contents of the clothes washing machine.

Surfactants are responsible for the effectiveness of detergents in removing dirt particles off of a surface (a dish in the dishwasher or a shirt in the washing machine).

What laundry detergents or soaps should we use in a Clothes Washing Machine connected to a septic tank or to a Graywater System?

On sometimes, dry powder clothes washer soap emerges as clots and clogs in the system. This occurs most frequently when the homeowner adds too much detergent and fails to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines. Solid clumps of detergent that are discharged into the septic tank accelerate the blockage of the system and, in severe situations, can completely obstruct a building drain. Recommended dishwasher and laundry detergents: are covered in full separatelyatDETERGENTSin our articleatDISHWASHERS versus SEPTICSwhere we examine recommended detergents as well as the environmental impacts of phosphatesdetergents.

How to minimize the possible clogging or other effects of laundry soaps on the septic system

The tank and drainfield of a private septic system can be safeguarded from clogging as a result of the excessive use of detergents. Even if the wastewater from a building is discharged into a public sewage system, there may be issues about detergent blocking the system’s drainage system.

Encourage people to follow these recommendations at a laundry facility servicing a residential apartment complex such as the one seen on the left (Bronx, New York), and you’ll be helping to keep sewage drains unclogged.

  • Use only the amount of powdered laundry or dishwashing detergent that is absolutely necessary to complete the job. Powdered laundry detergent that is used in large quantities can often fail to dissolve in the washing machine. Laundry detergent in a liquid form: It is safer to use liquid laundry detergent if you are not the one who will be running the clothes washing machine. “Budget” powdered laundry detergents include higher concentrations of fillers (including, in some cases, montmorillonite clay), which enhance the likelihood of system drainage or drainfield obstruction. The use of high-phosphate laundry detergents may be a contributing cause to drainfield degradation. The following liquid detergents are recommended: Clothes washers that are linked to or emptying into any onsite disposal system, such as a septic tank, cesspool, or drywell are preferred over those that do not.

The following measures may relieve the water volume load on septic fields from the washing machine:

  • Make use of washing detergent in liquid form. In order to avoid septic system clogs, use a liquid laundry detergent rather as a dry soap powder. When excessive volumes of dry laundry soap powders are used, some experts say that the septic system becomes clogged in the pipes, septic tank, and drain field. Install a lint filter on the washing machine water drain line to prevent lint from entering the septic tank and fields. If you are utilizing a drywell to accept washing machine discharge waters, you should also install a graywater filter ahead of the drywell to prevent lint from entering the drywell. SILICONE FILTERS SEPTICGREENWATER
  • Install a separate drywell to collect water from the washing machine drain, as well as from the dishwasher and other graywater if necessary. Spread out the usage of the washing machine over longer periods of time – for example, washing loads in the morning and at night rather than running one laundry load after another – to make it more efficient. Because of this periodic “dosing” of the septic system or drywell, the absorption system has more time to recover between washes. Cleaning out your septic tank on a more frequent basis than the recommended timetable will help to extend the life of your drainage field. It is anticipated that this will allow the drainfield to better absorb the additional volume of wastewater created by clothes washing. A family that uses their washing machine frequently will find that any other precautions that safeguard the drainfield’s ability to absorb water, such as avoiding flooding the fields with surface runoff, become increasingly critical.


Effects of Household Bleach on the Septic System

The average amounts of Bleachat consumption in a home should not be detrimental to the septic system.

  • Braida, Washington, Say Kee Ong, William L. Smith, and James W. McCabe are among the authors of this work. “Septic tank systems are affected by the presence of adsorbable organic halides from bleached laundry.” Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry 17, no. 3 (1998): 398–403, published online in 1998. In order to determine the destiny of adsorbable organic halide (AOX) generated by the use of home bleach during laundry in a septic system, an investigation was carried out in the laboratory. Septic tanks and leachfield systems were used in the experiments, which were carried out on a laboratory size. The addition of feed water comprising 20% bleached or unbleached laundry wash water had no effect on the performance of the septic tanks or the leach fields in this study. Chemochemical oxidation demand (COD) and total organic carbon (TOC) clearance rates were in the 90 percent range when measured through the septic systems. Adsorbable organic halide from unbleached laundry wash water with concentrations ranging between 0.13 and 0.21 mg/L appeared to be eliminated in the septic tank but not in the leach field, according to the results of the study. An approximate 43 percent clearance rate of AOX was observed while using unbleached clothes wash water as a control. The total clearance rate of AOX created by the use of sodium hypochlorite in bleached laundry wash water, on the other hand, was between 87 and 94 percent. In the septic tank, approximately one-third of the AOX had been removed, with the remaining AOX having been removed in the leach field. In the leach field, an analysis of the septic tank sludge and the soil revealed no buildup of AOX due to the usage of hypochlorite, and the AOX was most likely eliminated by biodegradation and/or chemical degradation.
See also:  What Is That Maximum Distance Between Septic Tank And Leach Field? (Question)

Reader CommentsQ A

Donna: There are several potential factors, including:- a partially clogged drain that is unable to cope with the increased amount of wastewater flow – a faulty septic system or cesspool that backs up when a big amount of water is being discharged into it When I wash my clothing, why does the water in my tub, shower, and toilet back up? I don’t believe that liquid laundry detergent would be the source of a white greasy clog in a sink drain. Fats or oils, for example, from cooking, are more frequently the culprit.

  1. We have a septic system in place.
  2. When a snake is used, large gobs of a white substance appear to be producing an obstruction in the system.
  3. It was suggested to us by a friend that it may be the washing detergent.
  4. Is it conceivable that the problem is caused by the washing detergent?
  5. However, I have an aseptic tank and do not want to colour my clothing in the washing machine.
  6. Andy, Despite the fact that there are caustics that can break up soap scum, they are damaging to the environment and, more importantly, they are probably outlawed in your region.
  7. In the meanwhile, pumping and cleaning the present installation, as well as manually disrupting its bottom layer, may be able to provide some temporary improvement.

It is, in fact, a plastic drum with no bottom attached.

Is there a chemical that I can use to remove the soap scum from the drum?

Smutty, thank you for posing such an excellent question.

Meanwhile, stick to liquid detergents if at all possible, and be sure to use no more detergent per wash load than the manufacturer’s suggested amount.

Is there a list of detergents that are suggested for aeration systems?

InspectApedia provides marriage counseling services.

The use of soap down the drain is unlikely to explain a septic tank or system failure unless someone is physically dumping bottles of soap down the drain.

I’m using the biodegradable detergents and disinfectants on my septic system as well.

Are there too many bubbles entering the septic tank?

Ron, I agree that it took three days of “perseverance.” The most likely scenario in which clothes *dryer* lint from a typical clothes dryer would enter the septic system would be if someone made the mistake of pulling lint out of the dryer and flushing it down the toilet, as described above.

How could dryer lint possibly find its way into your septic tank, let alone your drain field.

A ventless washer/dryer combo seems like a horrible idea to me since dryer lint might potentially end up in the septic field, which I don’t want to happen.

I’ve started producing my own liquid laundry detergent in order to save money and be more environmentally conscious.

Fels Naptha soap, which must first be “melted” in hot water, washing soda, and borax are all used.

However, we have been experiencing a foul odor (which is sporadic rather than consistent) that smells like sewage for perhaps 4 months, possibly longer.

However, the toilet would not flush at all after that.

I got the tank cleaned (and you know how expensive that can be).

Recently, the firm that has a “contract” to examine our tank came out and reported everything was good (we were not at home at the time of their visit.).

(This is quite inconvenient).

And, if so, what should I do to get rid of it?

Oh, and the aerator was causing us some problems (yep, it was still acting up days after they examined it), but after we had it running again, the scent was unbearably strong and offensive.

While I don’t have a lot of money to throw about on this, I’m desperate to find some answers.

Alternatively, view the FAQs on WASHING MACHINESSEPTIC SYSTEMS, which were originally put at the bottom of this page. Alternatively, consider the following:

Don’t Flush Articles for Sewage Grinder Pumps, Toilets, Septic Systems, Drains

  • CHEMICALS to AVOID Using in Septics
  • DISHWASHERS versus Septics

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How to Construct a Washing Machine Drain Field

According to the majority of county code requirements, a washer must drain into the septic tank. When there is a scarcity of water, it is only logical to reuse and recycle the water that drains from the washing machine. When planted near a vegetable garden, it is not recommended; nevertheless, when placed near a flower garden, it is excellent for drainage. You should not, however, position it too close to your plants, since the chemicals contained in the washing water may leech into the plants and harm them.

Step 1

Make a decision on where the drain field will be located. It should be at least 3 feet away from any plants in order to prevent the chemicals in the used water from causing damage to the vegetation. At a minimum, the drain field should be at least 2 to 5 feet away from the home’s façade.

Step 2

Prepare the drain field by digging it with a shovel. The hole should be roughly 20 feet long, 2 feet broad, 4 to 6 feet deep, and 4 to 6 feet wide. Because of the huge amount of washing done by large families (five or more people), the drain field should be at least 25 feet long for households with five or more members.

Step 3

Along the bottom of the drain field, lay down a layer of gravel that is 2 feet thick. Placing a 1- to 2-inch layer of straw or sand on top of the gravel can help to prevent particles of waste from the water from getting into the gravel and creating an environment suitable to the growth of bacteria.

Step 4

In the drain field hole, insert a perforated drain pipe of 20 feet in length. Gravel should be used to surround and cover the perforated drain pipe on both sides and on top of the drain pipe.

To connect the washing machine drain pipe to the perforated drain pipe, follow these steps: Make certain that the pipes are properly aligned with one another to avoid washer water from spilling onto the ground at the place where the two pipes meet.

Step 5

Fill the drain field with soil to make it more effective. After the drain field has been installed for approximately 2 weeks, return to the site and add additional dirt to the drain field because some of the dirt may have settled and created a canal that can fill with water when it rains, reducing the ability of the drain field to properly drain the washer water.

Laundry-to-Garden: How to Irrigate with Graywater

What precisely is graywater, and why is it important? ‘Gray’ water is wastewater from household appliances such as washing machines, bathroom sinks, showers, and bathtubs that has been only minimally dirty and provides a low health risk to those who use it. As long as you’re only flushing biodegradable things down the toilet, graywater is totally acceptable to use for irrigation purposes on your garden. Kitchen sink water is technically considered graywater as well, but because of the high concentration of grease in the water, it must typically be treated before it can be utilized as irrigation.

When it comes to recycling graywater, there are several dead easy methods to do it (we’ve listed a few of them here), but they all need some type of physical effort every time you wish to irrigate your garden or garden beds.

The washing machine approach falls somewhere in the middle; it can be completed in a weekend by anyone with basic home tools and strong mechanical talents.

The Basics

In order to drive wastewater out of the machine and into a sewage line, laundry machines are supplied with pumps. A key feature of this system, which was originally developed by Art Ludwig of Oasis Design in Southern California, is that it makes use of the built-in pump of a washing machine to distribute wastewater through a system of subsurface pipes, allowing it to irrigate individual plants throughout the yard. The water drains out into mulch-filled basins surrounding each plant, so the roots can get to the moisture they need to survive.

It is not beneficial to irrigate a large number of small plants, such as flower beds, lawns, and annual vegetables.

  • The washing machine’s pump isn’t powerful enough to irrigate regions uphill from it, and it won’t irrigate plants on a slope (though you may direct the water downhill from the machine to irrigate a flat area below)
  • You also won’t be able to irrigate plants on a slope. If you’re washing filthy diapers in the washing machine, you shouldn’t use this procedure since it will turn the water black. Don’t use greywater to water plants near streams or on marshy areas (to prevent contaminating the water)
  • You are only permitted to use biodegradable items in your washing machine (no bleach, borax, or sodium are permitted)

Is It Legal?

Graywater systems are becoming increasingly popular among government agencies around the country, particularly in areas where water is limited. Unlike most greywater systems that require a permit (and often the services of a licensed plumber), the washing machine system is explicitly legal for homeowners to install without a permit in five states: California, Arizona, Texas, New Mexico, and Wyoming. With a little wrangling with your local building department, the washing machine system is likely to pass muster in most communities (though a permit maybe required).

Nonetheless, you should consult with local authorities before continuing. Graywater regulations for a number of other states, in addition to the five mentioned above, may be found here.

Step One: Calculate System Size

Before you get your tools out, sit down with a pencil and piece of paper and figure out how many plants you will be able to water. Engineers have developed sophisticated ways for doing such computations, but they are not required for our needs. You should plan to irrigate 1 to 2 fruit trees, 3 to 4 fruit-bearing bushes, 3 to 4 edible vines, and 6 to 8 smaller perennial plants (such as roses, lavender, or artichokes) for each load of laundry that you do each week. The following recommendations are based on a load size of 20 gallons of water, which is common for most washing machines.

  1. Take into account the soil conditions as well.
  2. If drainage is really poor, it is advised that the effluent be dispersed across twice as many plants as previously recommended.
  3. Finally, while determining the watering requirements of specific plants, apply your common sense.
  4. Furthermore, drought-tolerant plants such as olives and figs require far less water than moisture-loving species such as blueberries and asparagus.
  5. The mulch pits act as a sponge, allowing roots to absorb as much water as they require while reducing the likelihood of plants becoming drowned.
  6. Clean Water Components’ Andrew Chahrour is given credit for this image.
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Step Two: Dig the Trenches

Given that washing machine pumps are not particularly strong, it is recommended that plants be located within 50 feet of the machine, assuming that the land is more or less level. Water will be delivered to each plant through a network of flexible tubing placed in trenches beneath the earth. Excavations should follow the contour of the terrain, up and down minor humps and dips, but they should not be built straight upwards. (The 50 feet does not include the distance traveled by the pipe as it descends an incline to reach the planting location; gravity will take care of that portion of the journey.) Begin by digging a shallow (2 to 3 inch) trench from the outer wall of your home closest to the washing machine to the nearest plant that you intend to irrigate, working your way outward.

Dig a trench around the drip line of each plant, approximately 10 inches deep and 8 inches wide, in a circle around the drip line of each plant.

When planting smaller plants in a row, another method that works well is to dig a straight trench along one side of the drip line on one side of the row and fill it with soil (up to a maximum length of about 12 feet). Mulch will be used to fill the ditches in order to absorb the graywater.

Step Three: Lay the Pipe and Spread the Mulch

Placing 1″ HDPE flexible tubing (also known as poly pipe) in shallow trenches, cutting and inserting barbed “Ts,” “elbows,” and other fittings as needed to complete the job. To each of the deeper trenches, run a 12″ tubing branch off the main 1″ line, leaving a few inches of tubing protruding into each trench at the end. Hose clamps should be used to secure the fittings. Washing machine pumps are only capable of pumping water through 10 to 12 irrigation points at a time, depending on their size.

  1. The valve should be left accessible in avalve boxso you may manipulate it manually.
  2. First, cut off the bottom of the pot.
  3. Fill the bottom of the trench around each plant with 4 inches of wood chips (compacted with your feet) (compacted with your feet).
  4. Then fill the remainder of the trenches around each plant with wood chips.
  5. Cover the tubing in the shallow trenches with earth, leaving a few feet exposed at the end by the house so it may be connected to the washing machine.

Step Four: Connect the Washing Machine*

The flexible drain tube behind the washing machine should be located and disconnected from the stiff standpipe, which is responsible for draining the wastewater into a sewage or septic system. The flexible drain tube should be connected to a1″ three-way valve with the help of a1″ barbed male adapter and ahose clamp. Connection to the sewer standpipe is made using a 1-inch diameter PVC pipe and fittings, which should be configured as needed such that the valve is flush against the wall at an easily accessible area near the standpipe and at least a couple inches above the height of the washing machine.

  1. Check behind the wall for studs, wiring, and pipes by drilling a test hole with a 14-inch bit to check that there are no obstructions.
  2. In addition to running the pipe through the floor and outside, through the external wall of a crawlspace or basement, there is another alternative.
  3. Pipe straps of 1″ in diameter should be used on either side of the valve to support horizontal pipe and fasten it to the wall, as shown.
  4. Connect the bottom of the T fitting to the poly tubing on the ground using 1-inch diameter PVC pipe and fittings, if necessary, to complete the installation.
  5. A piece of 1-inch-diameter PVC pipe with a length sufficient to reach beyond the height of the three-way valve indoors should be connected to the top end of the T fitting at the T fitting’s center.

Exterior grade caulk should be used to seal the hole where the pipe passes through the wall on both the inside and outside of the wall. All threaded fittings should be protected with Teflon tape. PVC cement should be used to join unthreaded fittings together.

Operation and Maintenance

In most cases, unless you are employing numerous irrigation zones, the system will work on its own. Consequently, you’ll be responsible for turning on and off the three-way valve on the valve box outside once a week. Simply split the total number of loads you run each week into two equal groups and you’ll be done in minutes. After the first round of irrigation is done, turn the valve to irrigate the other zone throughout the remainder of the day and the next week. Decomposition and settlement of the mulch in the trenches will take place over time.

In addition, as the plants develop, it is possible that you will need to occasionally increase the diameter of the mulch trenches (especially for trees).

This is also beneficial if you want to wash your clothes with bleach every now and again.

In addition to the San Francisco Graywater Design Manual and Oasis Design, you may get information about greywater system supplies, troubleshooting tips, and instructions on how to use this technology in a variety of situations by visiting Greywater Action.

5 Ways a Washing Machine Can Impact a Septic Tank

Although it is typical to link a septic tank with toilet usage, the washing machine is another major source of wastewater for the tank. Washing machine wastewater is generally innocuous to septic tanks, but you should be aware of specific elements and conditions that can have an effect on a septic tank’s performance. A washing machine can cause a septic tank to flood or clog if it is not maintained and planned for properly. Learn about the five factors to be mindful of, as well as how to keep your septic tank as clean as possible.

  • Laundry loads that are significantly larger than usual A septic tank is only designed to manage a certain amount of water in a single day.
  • Ideally, you should restrict your laundry to a single load every day to save time.
  • Do one load of laundry in the morning and one load of laundry at night.
  • 2.
  • You should avoid using too much detergent since the chemicals in it will affect how well your septic tank works.
  • Aside from the fact that excessive detergent usage might cause septic tank problems, the extra detergent will not make your clothing any more clean either.
  • A residue is left on the garments, which might cause stiffness or unusual textures to appear.

That accumulation will gradually wash away into a septic tank, where it may cause more issues.

Laundry Detergent in a Powdered Form Use Powdered laundry detergent is one type of detergent to keep an eye out for.

The primary source of concern is the chemicals used in powdered detergents.

The fillers are frequently not biodegradable, and this might result in a buildup of waste in the septic tank.

Clogs might build in the septic tank over time, preventing it from draining correctly.

When you abuse the powdered detergent, the problem may grow more severe and difficult to resolve.

The powder has the potential to exacerbate obstructions and cause even more issues.

When shopping for detergent, look for components that are 100 percent biodegradable on the label.


Older washing machines can consume more than 40 gallons of water for a single load of laundry.

An improved machine will significantly reduce water use, which will have a positive influence on your septic tank.

Some of the most energy-efficient washing machines may reduce water use to as little as 15 gallons each load.


Although lint traps do not need to be cleaned as regularly as other parts of the house, they can cause difficulties if left unattended.

These materials will not decompose properly in the septic tank, which may result in blockages down the road.

To find out how to clear the lint trap on your washer, consult the owner’s handbook.

We at Easy Rooter Plumbing are here to help you with any of your septic tank issues. We will assist you in evaluating the issue, determining the source of the difficulties, and cleaning out blocked septic tanks if necessary.

4 Things to Do When Your Septic Tank Is Flooded

If your neighborhood has recently been flooded or has been subjected to strong rains, you may discover that your toilet isn’t flushing properly and that your drains are draining more slowly than usual. It is possible that raw sewage will back up into your tub and sink drains. Drains that are slow or clogged may signal that the water table has risen over the level of your septic field and septic tank. If you believe that your septic system has been flooded, there are four things you should do immediately.

  • Check the level of groundwater in your area.
  • Septic tanks are typically located a few feet below the surface of the earth.
  • If you are aware of the location of your septic tank and drainfield, you should check the water level in the area to ensure that flooding is not a concern.
  • When there isn’t any evident standing water in the area, use a probe to check the water level or an auger to dig deep into the earth to find out how much water is there.
  • If your tests reveal that the water level is higher than the top of the septic tank, you should immediately cease utilizing the tank.
  • 2.
  • Until the Ground Becomes Dry When you believe that your septic system has been flooded, contact a septic pumping specialist immediately; however, you must wait until the earth has become less soggy before having your tank drained.
  • If a septic tank is pumped out when the earth is saturated, it may potentially float out of its location.
  • Following a decrease in the water table level, it is necessary to pump your system as quickly as feasible.
  • 3.
  • Approximately 70 gallons of water are flushed down the toilet per person every day in the average home.

The first step is to check for leaks in all of your fixtures. An inoperable toilet flapper or fill mechanism can leak up to 200 gallons per day, creating a backup of water that your flooded septic system doesn’t have room for. Other suggestions for keeping water out of the drains are as follows:

  • Prepare meals that don’t require cooking, such as sandwiches. Disposable flatware, such as paper plates and paper cups, should be used. Showers are preferable to baths because they are shorter. Save the rinse water and put it to good use on the plants. Only flush the toilet when absolutely essential

If your clothes washing machine drains into your main sewage line, it can cause a significant amount of water to be discharged into your septic system. Wash your garments at the laundry until the water table begins to fall below the surface. In the event that you must use the washing machine, wash only modest loads and wait a few hours between each load of laundry. 4. Make modifications to your septic system to make it more efficient. After your septic tank has been drained and your house drainage system has been restored to working order, you should make certain modifications to your system in order to minimize flooding problems in the future.

During a septic emergency, the backflow preventer prevents waste water from entering your home or building.

Also, check to be that your yard’s storm drainage does not overflow into your septic field and storage tank area.

When your septic system is inundated, call Eckmayer Inc right away.

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