Grease and Particle filter: An easy way to retrofit your home creating a grey water planter bed
Here is a basic step-by-step process so that you can take the water from your kitchen or bathroom sink and direct it into an adjacent planter bed to create a grey water planter system. This way you are using the water a second time and it is not wasted but is guided directly to the plants’ root systems.
We began by redirecting the plumbing under the sink so that the water flow would exit outwards into where the planter is located. We then measured the distance from the outlet pipe to the base of the planter space in order to size the reception box that will be added.
Preparing the planter bed requires that you clear the appropriate amount of space that will fit the dimensions of the box. You will want to make sure that you have enough space so that it will function but also will want to minimize the amount of space that is being utilized by the box to keep your growing space optimal. For this particular job, we dug out the dimensions of the box and carefully removed the existing plants. We dug a 6-inch deep trench along the length of the planter bed into the soil that will create the space for the Spa Flex hose line. We trenched a gentle slope for the water flow within the planter and lined with 2 inches of gravel.
Next, we started to build the reception box. Here, we used leftover Trex to build the box. Cedar or redwood can be used as well, however the Trex will last longer. After the measurements were made, we put together the box first by countersinking holes and then assembling.
A 6-inch piece of PVC pipe was used here for allowing the water from the plumbing to angle downward into the planter bed. We cut this in half, angled it and drilled it appropriately inside of the receptacle box.
Two holes were then drilled on either side of the reception box with a hole saw corresponding to the sizes of inlet and outlet for your plumbing, allowing for the water to flow through. The Spa Flex was prepared by drilling 1/2 inch holes alternating down the length of the sides about 1 foot apart and then capped on the end. We laid out the parts of the system into the planter to ensure that they were all fitted suitably into the dimensions of the planter and that the slope was adequate.
The piping from the sink that enters into the reception box is where the filter is attached. We use a stocking, which is an easy and cheap way to catch grease and particles that drain from the sink. The panty hose should be checked monthly and changed once it is expanded. We use a hose clamp to attach it and check to make sure that the stocking will not stretch and block the outlet into the planter bed when filled. The Spa flex was also attached to the outlet that will drain directly into the bed by a silicone sealant or with a PVC bell reducer corresponding to the sizes of the outlet and the Spa Flex.
Once all of the parts are assembled and sloped correctly, we ran the sink water to test that it was directed through the box and out into the planter bed.
The final step after ensuring that the system is functioning is to add the plants back to the planter bed. Watch them thrive with reused water. This process was simple and can be done almost anywhere there is an indoor planter nearby a sink. Please consider this as a way to help conserve our most precious natural resource.