Stressing out our system….. the Wash Water Efficiency test

As Aaron mentioned in our last blog post “Let’s catch up” we have been busy completing our stress test scenarios. Our the next several weeks our goal is to write a blog post for each system stress test we completed over the months of October-January.

Our first stress test began October 25 and went until October 31st. The Wash Water Efficiency stress test, challenged our system by using the same amount of greywater concentrate we would add to our system daily but required us to reduce the amount of wash water added with the concentrate daily from our fixtures. First we had to reduce the amount of wastewater used daily in our cabin from 58 gallons to 35 gallons a day. We choose to cut back the amount of wash water from the cabin, simulating homeowners installing low flow fixtures. We still had to add the same amount of greywater concentrate, our NSF-350 recipe, so we poured it directly down the shower and bathroom sink drains. Same amount of hand soap, shampoo, conditioner, household cleaner, dust and secondary effluent, but less water went into the treatment connex…..Here’s what we noticed :

Since the amount of greywater concentrate in our system remained the same but less water was available to our treatment system from the home, we noticed an increase in the amount of bubbles and bubble texture. Our bubble collection tank, a glorified rubbermaid trash can, overflowed with bubbles during the challenge ( see featured image). The bubbles however were dense, soapy and drier than usual.

The bubble collection, aka the trash can, by the end of the week was only filled with about 6 gallons of concentrated greywater, unlike the usually 15 gallons we collect every week as part of our soap removal technology.

Our wash water quality remained similar to our regular loading weeks wash water quality; no total coliform bacteria was present in our finally wash water quality. To review our water quality after this challenge please follow this link to our SGS certified lab results:

Next stress test:  power equipment failure loading. Our system has been off for a day and a half now, we are excited to see if our wash water quality changes.

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