Friday, March 30, 2012

The Kitchen Sink

 It's greywater time! After thoroughly studying Art Ludwig's book on
 greywater, I went on to explore the unpleasant realities of digging a ditch in limestone-filled clay in 97-degree weather. It wasn't pleasant, but I was determined!

Here's what I started out with. Me and shovel vs. crazy-hard ground.

Here it is! A greywater ditch (I made this =)

After a day of digging, and a night of rain to make sure I had good drainage at this spot, I filled my ditch with a layer of course sand, a layer of charcoal, a layer of small pebbles, and two layers of larger rocks. Before it was all said and done, I had switched from my shovel to a hammer and spade in order to crack the larger limestone rocks so that I could pull them out by hand. I also transplanted a couple of native plants to make it prettier (if these take off, I'll put more plants in there).

And every greywater ditch needs a source of greywater, I suppose, so I built a kitchen sink.

Had to wait for this wall to be finished to install it.

I used this Ikea table top (that we've had for years and years) and, after using a
screwdriver to make guide holes, cut out the shape of the sink with a saws-all. 

Then I sprayed on four coats of Rust-oleum to make it more water-resistant.
(The Rust-oleum was 1/2 price at Home Depot because the lid was missing.)

Then I put in the sink, screwed it in place with the hardware 
that came with it, and sealed the edges with caulking.

I made this =) 
Eventually it will drain out of a long pipe that I've already cut, through the wall, and into the greywater ditch.

I built the base out of 2x4 scraps, and the legs are made from trimmings that came from 2x6s. I'll post a better picture later, because here I was just testing it out - it's not even anchored to the wall in this picture. I put the sink and counter onto the base, added the drain thingy that goes in the bottom (secured with plumber's putty), figured out where all the pipes should go, and cut the pieces that I needed from a larger pipe with a hacksaw. 

You might also be interested to know where the water comes from. The sky, of course! From the sky into a rainwater basin (aka a kiddie pool), and then into one of those big, clear buffet tea containers with a spigot at the bottom. Then where does it go? Through the pipes, and for now, into a designated greywater bucket that I empty into the ditch by hand. 

Did you know that greywater is really grey? It is. Just thought I'd throw that out there.

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