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Thread: waste water system

  1. #1
    Member Boone's Avatar
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    Default waste water system

    What's a good system for a dry cabin waste water system? I've heard you can plumb a hose from the sink into a hole in the ground and let the grey water seep into the ground. Is this a year-round solution? How deep should the hole be?

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    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    In the summer I ran it to the garden and a bucket under the sink in the winter
    Now left only to be a turd in the forrest and the circle will be complete.Use me as I have used you

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    Member Boone's Avatar
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    I was considering a bucket until I heard about the hose running into a deep hole. I assume you'd have to hire a driller to drop the hole to get deep enough?

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    Member AKDoug's Avatar
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    The hole only needs to be below the frost line. I've had drain holes that worked all winter as shallow as five fee. Don't use rubber hose, plumb it in ABS pipe and keep the water velocities as fast as possible. I've used a buried 55 gallon drums buried with the top at 5' deep, shot full of holes and filled with big rocks. The last one was used for 5 or 6 years before grease and soap scum (we assume) clogged it up.

  5. #5

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    You certainly don't need a driller, you really don't need to go that deep. You want the drain water to leach through many yards of dirt and rock before entering the water table.

    I made my hole less than four feet deep, but I dug it as a long trench to hold a large diameter piece of perforated pipe, sitting on a bed of gravel. I've never had a problem with it, but then I don't throw much gunk down it in the first place. If you plan to throw a lot of grease or solids down the drain, then Doug's barrel will work better for you.

    I haven't had any problems with freezing, but my drain is somewhat insulated since I built a shed on top of it.

    I installed a screened trap below the sink to catch any solids missed by the drain catcher for compost. (Not much fun cleaning it out but it works.) I also installed a bypass (Y-valve with an extra-large handle) so soapy water goes down the drain but clean rinse water goes out to a bucket near the garden in the summer.

    Honestly, I'm happy with the system I built, but a bucket under the sink worked just fine for years before I complicated everything. Keep it simple until you figure out what you want.
    Inspiration is simply the momentary cessation of stupidity.

  6. #6
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    Our first system was a 55 gallon drum shot full of holes vented with black iron pipe. This was designed as a summer system. When I went full time it was lacking. Either the pvc pipe from the sink would freeze or the tank itself would freeze. Then we ran the gray water on the ground until frost left the ground. We eventually cured the pipe freezing with heat tape and insulation.

    The new system is a trench 7 feet below the pad. We installed two 4 foot sections of the Infiltrator System in the trench. Heat tape was wrapped aroung the pvc pipe from the trench up to the cabin floor with insulation wrapped around the heat tape/pipe. With the Infiltrator System we did not need to vent it.

    We have frozen up twice this winter by being lazy, but two hours of heat cleared it up.

    If you are running water into an underground barrel be sure to contain your water and then let it out all at once. Using small amounts of water over a period will tend to cause a bigger frozen spot.

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    Our cabin's up in the the Petersville area, and has an abs pipe drain that runs out from the sink and underground... to somewhere. Counting our three years there, it's now worked for 7 summers. In fall, I pour some RV antifreeze down the drain, unscrew the gooseneck plug, and run water into a bucket. It functions well enough for the amount of time we're there

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