Recently we had the opportunity to design a system for growing row crops with greywater for a very inspiring organization, TERI Inc, a non-profit corporation with a mission to improve the quality of life for adults and children with developmental and learning disabilities.
Among TERI Inc.’s many programs are residential services at several locations in San Diego County. At one of these locations, row crops are grown to provide organic vegetables to the residents in all of the homes. There is also a green house where many sprouts are grown and packaged for the residents. The workers at this site use a lot of water to rinse the veggies and sprouts before packaging them. TERI Inc. is committed to sustainable practices at all of their sites, including water conservation and growing organic edible plants from sprouts to fruit trees. We were asked to design a greywater system to re-use this rinse water for irrigating row crops.
Greywater System Details
Our system is very simple and effective, with easy maintenance. The greywater is discharged into a three-way valve as per code so that the water can be directed to the sewer during rain events when the crops don’t need irrigation. This diverter valve is accessible in a landscape box just outside the rinse station (and we can also install remote switches to turn redirect valves remotely). As water is rinsed down the sink drain, the greywater travels into a surge tank with an effluent pump and coarse filter (see left-hand photo). This filter lifts out for easy maintenance. From there the water is pumped through a second filter with a finer mesh that is cleaned with a simple back-flush action by turning a handle. The irrigation utilizes a greywater dripperline (irriGRAY) which has a high flow rate (2.2 GPH) and built in filters at each emitter.
Stay tuned to hear about the rainwater harvesting system we will be installing next month to irrigate the sprouts in the greenhouse!
And please, if you can, support TERI Inc. with donations, volunteer work, or letting your friends know about their great work!