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Alaska Greywater

Posted: Fri Mar 05, 2010 2:07 pm
by Chet
Hi Bob. I really like your site and am impressed with the simplicity of your designs.
I moved back to Alaska recently from the Southwest and would like to help develop some greywater and composting toilet systems. Alaska's a different animal. Are you aware of any state laws regarding DIY water treatment, outdoor humanure storage, greywater, etc? I haven't found any but I've heard a few opinions. Do you know of any simple solutions for outdoor greywater distribution in the winter? I know a few people building new, year-round cabins who would like to avoid septic systems altogether. Thanks

Re: Alaska Greywater

Posted: Thu Mar 11, 2010 10:12 am
by Bob
Hi Chet,

Good questions. Yeah, Alaska does present a set of unique challenges.

Are you aware of any state laws regarding DIY water treatment, outdoor humanure storage, greywater, etc?
I'm not familiar with all the details, but here is a link to ADEC wastewater treatment and disposal regulations. Given that what we are disposing of is treated graywater rather than raw sewage or septic tank effluent, the regs, interpretation and enforcement are a bit ambiguous. It's a rather gray area (pun intended).

Do you know of any simple solutions for outdoor greywater distribution in the winter?
It all depends on how much you have, how clean it is, your soils and distance from waterways and/or wells. In my own year-round cabin I have a simple dry well -- a 5-gallon bucket buried in a hole with gravel around it. The top is about 18" below the surface and covered with 4" of styrofoam insulation. But this is only for wash water from a single kitchen sink, the soil percs well and there is a lot of snow cover all winter. For larger flows and different soils everything would be different.