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

  • AjitSeshadri
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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)

Dear Gustavo.

Pl be guided on my notes given on vermi process of bio matter.

Also if worms are abundant. Can be reared as fish feed, even could have a eco bird park.

Well wishes
Ajit Seshadri
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  • goeco
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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 Gustavo, "should be straight forward"... famous last words :)
A couple of additional but very relevant points:
If you include both kitchen and bathroom greywater, the mix of hair and fat makes a lovely impervious matted layer on the surface of the vermifilter. The worms do slowly digest this from underneath, but if they get behind, flow (hydraulic conductivity) will be impeded and you'll potentially overflow your vermifilter. There is a simple solution - make sure the surface area is as large as possible. A 1m diameter is no longer enough for a household, you'll need at least 2m2 surface area so the muck doesn't spread to the edges.

Next, make sure there is sufficient capacity above the surface of the media to accept large doses of water, such as from a bath or washing machine - you don't want it overflowing. Even though the water won't overflow the system, by overflowing the filter basket you will get hair entering the next step, which will not be good for such things as pumps or drippers.

Also, don't bother adding the worms for a month or two, you need to wait for the biofilm to develop first.
cheers
Dean

Dean Satchell, M For. Sc.
Go-Eco Sustainable Solutions
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  • goeco
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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,
I don't believe the temperature of the water will be a problem, unless Ukrainians are like showering in especially scalding hot water that causes third degree burns! I've poured boiling water down my sink and straight into the greywater vermifilter, and the worms survived. They don't live on the surface, so have some insulation from the immediate heat shock of very hot water. Especially once the soap scum and hair builds up on the surface and slows the flow into the media.

Also keep in mind the receiving tank would be on the floor surface and might only need 0.5m of height, depending on diameter and capacity required. It could be incorporated as a sump directly underneath the vermifilter, so with your 2.5 m height you'd have 0.5m of sump underneath the vermifilter, 0.5m above as dose capacity and 1.5m of vermifiltration media. All in one vessel.

I don't believe recirculation is necessary for idle periods. This will not be a highly biologically active vermifilter, the BOD won't be high enough for a big population of worms, it is acting as an aerobic filter - even without worms it would work. You will get scum accumulating on the surface that will take time to degrade and will act as a food reserve for the worms. There will also be 1.5 cubic metes of media which will be a moisture reservoir for weeks. Even if that dries out there will be worm eggs and the process will continue without intervention.

I think that chlorination is going down the wrong route, you shouldn't need to sterilise toilet water. You'd only need chlorine to remove stink from a system that isn't adequately aerated.

cheers
Dean

Dean Satchell, M For. Sc.
Go-Eco Sustainable Solutions
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  • gustavo
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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)

Ok! thank you so much for all your insights! I'll do as you suggest :)

Gustavo Heredia
Director
AGUATUYA Bolivia
www.aguatuya.org
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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 Dean!
Thank you for the interesting discussion!
I think the problem with the vermifilter system you are suggesting might be eventual clogging that cannot be removed by backwashing. Anyway I will offer to the hostel manager the vermifilter option and they may choose to put a smaller prototype to try it before going for full scale system.
I still think that vermifilter is not a universal approach to all waste water treatment situations and sometimes proven old techniques like roughing +sand filtration+ chlorination might be more appropriate. Especially when neither nutrient rich effluent nor vermihumus is not needed but just technical water.
Best,
Bogdan

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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, Always a good discussion with you!

The reason for installing a vermifilter is to avoid the clogging issues with filters that operate in an aqueous environment, which require removal of muck that inevitably builds up. Until now requiring frequent maintenance. In contrast, a vermifilter can't and shouldn't be backwashed, the muck that builds on the surface is digested by organisms living on the bottom surface of that crust. They live there because it is not an aqueous environment. Hair does not decompose in an aqueous environment, I have removed and cleaned filters from greywater tanks years after they were decommissioned and the hair was still there in perfect condition. In contrast, compost hair and it decomposes in weeks once the aerobic organisms establish!

The environment in a vermifilter offers a maintenance paradigm shift. Porosity is maintained by the worms and the filtered solids don't build up any more than the flux between solids addition and decomposition. Such a low maintenance system should be an appealing proposition for your application...:)

cheers
Dean

Dean Satchell, M For. Sc.
Go-Eco Sustainable Solutions
www.go-eco.co.nz
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