• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education skip experiences global resources cider press projects digital market permies.com private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Anne Miller
  • Nicole Alderman
  • r ranson
  • Pearl Sutton
  • Mike Haasl
  • paul wheaton
stewards:
  • Joylynn Hardesty
  • Dave Burton
  • Joseph Lofthouse
master gardeners:
  • jordan barton
  • Greg Martin
gardeners:
  • Carla Burke
  • Ash Jackson
  • Kate Downham

Land / Groundwater / Plant friendly dishwasher/clotheswashing liquids?

 
Posts: 117
10
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I want to run my house off a well WITHOUT a septic tank. My only real concern would be the chemicals I would use for my dishwasher and my washing machine(clothes). My main choice would be 7th Generation brand stuff, but my question is if I use it and drain the waste water onto my land, will it affect my trees, soil or well water? The ingredients are all natural and biodegradable, but how safe is it?


Any input or products you use welcome
 
Posts: 4
1
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
If the ingredients are biodegradable and safe, pH balance should be the only concern when using gray water for irrigation
 
pollinator
Posts: 1563
Location: Victoria BC
219
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
The ingredients in fragrance free 7th Generation dish liquid are described on the label as follows, if that helps anyone more knowledgeable on this to comment:

Water
Sodium laurel sulfate - plant derived cleaning agent
Lauramine oxide - plant based cleaning agent
Glycerin - plant derived foam stablizer
Decyl glucoside - plant derived cleaning agent
Magnesium chloride - mineral based viscosity modifier
Citric acid - plant derived pH adjuster
Benzisothiazolinone - synthetic preservative
Methylisothiazolinone - synthetic preservative
 
pioneer
Posts: 214
Location: California Coastal range
57
homeschooling goat kids food preservation fiber arts building solar wood heat homestead
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Salt build up is actually the biggest concern with grey water to plants.

Many biodegradable ones will still kill your plants due to salt build up.  There is another thread on this somewhere.  Many people do get away with it if there is other watering so it is dilluted enough, another  person on my property killed the plants our grey water goes to by using borax.  Borax is biodegradable, but too much for plants.   My soil is very sandy and I have gotten away with various green detergents over the years, but after the Borax incident, I sm thinking more about how it could be building up in the soil and I am using Oasis laundry detergent, which feeds the plants and has no salt issues, and then sometimes the ECOS laundry detergent is used here as well

https://www.amazon.com/Oasis-Biocompatible-Laundry-Detergent/dp/B076ZZPSM9?SubscriptionId=AKIAILSHYYTFIVPWUY6Q&tag=duckduckgo-ffab-20&linkCode=xm2&camp=2025&creative=165953&creativeASIN=B076ZZPSM9

 
C. West
Posts: 117
10
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
thanks for the input sue, i would not be using it to water crops, but would spread water sparsely around the property on grass and weeds etc. more than anything im wondering how long it takes to break down and if it will affect my well water
 
pollinator
Posts: 335
Location: Southern Germany
151
kids books urban chicken cooking food preservation fiber arts bee
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Sorry that I can't really provide a good solution for dishwashing question.

But I wanted to share something I just saw in a documentary which fits here so I don't have to open a new thread:
In Honshu in Japan there is an area where the waters descend from the mountains and go to water the rice terraces and paddies. As the water is precious it is important that the villagers do not poison or soil the used water before it goes to the paddies, so there is an old system where canals run through the village and run to each house. There they go to a small compartment with direct access from the kitchen.
All the dishes are washed directly in that open well, where carps are kept. The carps feed on the waste, no dishwashing liquid is used. The water remains crystal clear and runs off to the fields.
Very fascinating.

If you want to look this up, it was a BBC documentary from 2015 called Wild Japan (Gavin Maxwell).
I hope they don't come up with regulations that make this type of water treatment illegal.
 
steward
Posts: 5272
Location: Cache Valley, zone 4b, Irrigated, 9" rain in badlands.
1951
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
In my world view, as an ex-chemist, plain old water is an amazing cleaning solvent for dishes, clothes, and bodies.
 
pollinator
Posts: 88
25
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I use soap berries, also called soap nuts, for my laundry.  They're berries from the Sapindus Mukorrosi tree.

I throw a bag or sock of a few berries in the wash and hang it to dry when done. Once the berries are spent, they go to the compost. They last for many washes, depending on variables in the washer's control.

You can also boil them to make a liquid soap. Then you can use it for dishes, shampoo, or what ever. I haven't tried that yet.


 
pollinator
Posts: 3113
Location: Massachusetts, Zone:6/7, AHS:4, Rainfall:48in even Soil:SandyLoam pH6 Flat
317
forest garden solar
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I find that sun-drying clothes help them get clean with less soap. Soaking them for a period of time also means less soak.

Having alot of live ferments happening in your house inoculates your house with good bacteria and then we dont need sterile, perfectly clean dishes. Live ferments like water kefir, yogurt, milk kefir, apple cider vinegar is wonderful and tasty.

You can dump your daily grey water in a 275 gallon IBC tote and do a continuous aerated compost tea brew. Maybe add starter microbes once a week.

Starter Microbes = pond water microbes+lactic acid/milk microbes+wild mushroom slurry+worm casting+random soil+etc. I know with aquarium, the good microbes are housed in media, so maybe a bag of biochar or sponge or something can be in the tote. Maybe two bag one to trap and breakdown incoming grease/etc and another that is in the water..

I would also say that spreading out the water over a wide area to say water 100 trees vs just 4 trees will help too.
 
gardener & author
Posts: 1978
Location: Ladakh, Indian Himalayas at 10,500 feet, zone 5
420
trees food preservation solar greening the desert
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
At our school, we have had greywater from bathing, washing clothes, and dishwashing and kitchen, go straight out to little tiny canals along trees. It's been going for over 20 years now, and seems to be fine. It happens that they are mostly willow trees, but there are also some fruit trees, and a few other non-fruit trees, like poplars and robinia. We have not tried to control what kinds of soaps and detergents people use, so there are all kinds of popular commercial products over the years. Art Ludwig, who has written a great book about using greywater, says the top couple of inches of the topsoil is so alive with microorganisms that it is most effective at breaking everything down.

Ana Edey, author of Solviva, has a flushing compost toilet kind of system, that I think is a nice idea for greywater systems as well. The wastewater goes through a tank willed with wood chunks and compost worms before it goes to irrigate. Since hers is for a toilet, the irrigation has to be underground, which requires complications to prevent clogging with roots. If the material is just greywater, then the effluent could just go straight to surface for irrigation. The wood chunk and compost worm filtration would just be a first line filtration so that what goes out to the surface is not quite raw soapy water. Any other filtration requires cleaning from time to time; the beauty of this system is the wood chips dissolve and you just add more; it never needs a cleanout.

We added one of these wood chunk filtration boxes to our kitchen water at our school a couple of years ago, because we have more than 50 people most of the time now, and the kitchen greywater was starting to stink most of the time. It worked well. We made a mistake at one point, putting in wood shavings that were too fine and clogged the outlet, but when we replaced them with chunks it worked well. Unfortunately we then dug it up for construction so I can't tell you how it worked for more than a year. Ana Edey had been running her latest toilet on the same box of chunks for 11 years when I visited it; when it settled down, she'd add more chunks, but never had to empty it.
 
Sue Reeves
pioneer
Posts: 214
Location: California Coastal range
57
homeschooling goat kids food preservation fiber arts building solar wood heat homestead
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Art Ludwig, who wrote the books on grey water use in Gardens, is also the one who developed the Oasis biocompatible laundry and dish detergents.  Because Salts build up in soils and kill plants.  In California, at least, as there is no rainfall at all for at least half the year, so 6 months or more straight, normal condition, and then water restrictions where people are often left with nothing but the greywater to go to the plants.  In conditions like this, where the only water is full of salts, you get build up that will kill the soil.  The soil microorganisms do decompose wonderfully, but even they will be killed by too much salt build up.
 
D Nikolls
pollinator
Posts: 1563
Location: Victoria BC
219
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Sue Reeves wrote:Art Ludwig, who wrote the books on grey water use in Gardens, is also the one who developed the Oasis biocompatible laundry and dish detergents.  Because Salts build up in soils and kill plants.  In California, at least, as there is no rainfall at all for at least half the year, so 6 months or more straight, normal condition, and then water restrictions where people are often left with nothing but the greywater to go to the plants.  In conditions like this, where the only water is full of salts, you get build up that will kill the soil.  The soil microorganisms do decompose wonderfully, but even they will be killed by too much salt build up.



Am I understanding correctly when I interpret this as meaning the Oasis products would not lead to salt buildup?

Rainfall is a big consideration with buildup; in the PNW, I can count on a very thorough flush for 8 months of the year...
 
Sue Reeves
pioneer
Posts: 214
Location: California Coastal range
57
homeschooling goat kids food preservation fiber arts building solar wood heat homestead
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

D Nikolls wrote:

Sue Reeves wrote:Art Ludwig, who wrote the books on grey water use in Gardens, is also the one who developed the Oasis biocompatible laundry and dish detergents.  Because Salts build up in soils and kill plants.  In California, at least, as there is no rainfall at all for at least half the year, so 6 months or more straight, normal condition, and then water restrictions where people are often left with nothing but the greywater to go to the plants.  In conditions like this, where the only water is full of salts, you get build up that will kill the soil.  The soil microorganisms do decompose wonderfully, but even they will be killed by too much salt build up.



Am I understanding correctly when I interpret this as meaning the Oasis products would not lead to salt buildup?

Rainfall is a big consideration with buildup; in the PNW, I can could on a very thorough flush for 8 months of the year...



exactly.  

And, this is important in many parts of California, and I believe Ludwig is from the more southern part of this state, I dont remember, Santa Barbara or San Louis Obispo area, in any case not only do those areas not get any rainfall for more than 6 months straight,  they overall do not get that much annualized either.  

Places where the soil is flushed more often and that do not have much product used overall for the area getting the grey water, well, that is why the plants are still alive using the standard products that have salts.  

The Oasis products do not cause salt build up, and they actually biodegrade into plant foods.  This was by design, the Oasis products were specifically designed to not only cause no harm but to benefit the plants getting that water.   It is no more expensive, overall, than anything else as it is concentrated and you dont use much.  Where I live, they carry it in the local natural foods stores, but you can buy it on Amazon at the same price.  I love the idea of the homemade clothes washing detergents, but all of those recipes contain borax, which I now know kills plants here. I have seen it happen.  
 
C. West
Posts: 117
10
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
i will definitely give oasis products a try
 
Police line, do not cross. Well, this tiny ad can go through:
BWB second printing, pre-order dealio (poor man's poll)
https://permies.com/t/147624/BWB-printing-pre-order-dealio
reply
    Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic