Designing and building grey water filter for reuse in flush toilets at the tourist hostel in the Carpathian mountains (Ukraine)

  • BPopov
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Designing and building grey water filter for reuse in flush toilets at the tourist hostel in the Carpathian mountains (Ukraine)

Hello everyone!
I am helping to design a rain water harvesting and sanitation system for the tourist hostel up in the Carpathian mountains. The situation with water supply there is rather complicated -- rain water is the main source. There is an idea to reuse the grey water from showers and sinks for the water flush toilets. However grey water needs basic treatment and filtration before pumped back to the toilet cisterns. One of the challenges is that treatment and filtration system has to be installed indoors protected from freezing temperatures thus it should be relatively compact. There are some factory made grey water filters that can do the job but being produced in Scandinavian countries they are too expensive for Ukrainian context and need constant and regular replacement of special filtration material also to be imported and being expensive.
There is a need to design a self built system form locally available materials and components with moderate maintenance input
I would be interested to discuss possible design of this filter and later next year post the reports on building process as I did this before with my public toilets projects. This can be quite an interesting project!
The main issues to consider:
1. The filter can be located on the ground floor directly underneath the showers, sinks and toilets (4 points of each) on the second floor. The grey water should feed filter by gravity and then pumped back to the toilet cisterns. The height of the ground floor to the ceiling is 2.3 m.
2. The grey wat can be rather hot from the showers.
3. The flow can be highly variable from 50 l up to 1 cubic meter per hour.
At the moment I am thinking about using there a vertical up flow filter made in 500 l polyethylene tank filled with 30 cm layers of zeolite with progressively smaller grain size each (8-12mm, 4-8 mm and 2-4 mm) Zeolite is used because it is mined nearby and hopefully will provide better treatment than ordinary gravel. Upflow design is thought since this will allow hydraulic cleaning by draining. Concept sketch is attached.
Looking forward to hear you suggestions and ideas!

Bogdan Popov
The Ecosolutions Forge
www.ecoforge.org
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  • muench
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Re: Designing and building grey water filter for reuse in flush toilets at the tourist hostel in the Carpathian mountains (Ukraine)

Hi Bogdan,
Thanks for sharing this! I am just wondering why you chose an upflow configuration rather than downflow? Is that to save on space?

Also that's interesting that you have zeolite available. It might help you also with ammonia removal, have you considered that?
Would your filter require any periodic backwashing to prevent clogging? Would you add some sieves before the filter or at the outlet of the shower maybe?

Regards,
Elisabeth

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  • BPopov
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Re: Designing and building grey water filter for reuse in flush toilets at the tourist hostel in the Carpathian mountains (Ukraine)

Hi Elisabeth!
Thanks for the responce!

I suggest upflow design mainly because it seems to allow effective non-pressurized backwashing as opposed to down flow one.
This kind of roughing filter had been suggested in many resources like for instance here www.aqsolutions.org/images/2016/12/2000LPD_English.pdf

Actually now I am not too sure if zeolite is the best material for the media.. Maybe regular gravel all is needed. The single goal is to have flush water for the toilet. It should not clog the toilet cistern flush valves , have more or less nice appearance (some turbidity is probably ok) and most important do not stink too strong while rests for some time in the toilet cistern or in the receiving tank after the roughing filter below. The nitrogen content is not an issue at all I guess. Maybe actually UV would deal with the odor but this involves electricity which quite limited in that mountain hostel. What about batch chlorination?

I think a servicesable mesh filter before the equalizing/pressure tank would be good to get read of hairs and fibres
Best wishes,
Bogdan

Bogdan Popov
The Ecosolutions Forge
www.ecoforge.org
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