Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 09-26-2010, 02:25 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: eastern Washington state
Posts: 23
Water Recirculation System

One day when I get a Skoolie to work on, I dream of installing a gray water recycling/recirculation system.
The water going to the gray water tank, at some point of its travels is filtered and sent to another tank via a pump and constantly reused (at least for a while). Perhaps the other tank is on the roof and now can work as a gravity-feed system. A tankless heater heater heats the water unless the sun has done it (or part of the job) already.

It's possible that this recirculated filtered water should be filtered again before being drunk but for showering and washing hands and dishes I'm thinking it will be okay. I would change the water regularly throughout the year.

I see potential problems keeping the water warm enough to recirculate in the winter, particularly on the roof and under the floor.

Your input, criticisms?
greatidea is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-26-2010, 06:15 PM   #2
Bus Crazy
 
gbstewart's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 1,207
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: 3800 International
Engine: T444E
Rated Cap: 72
Re: Water Recirculation System

NO

U can use the gray water for flushing , but to make it safe for drinking and showering would take to much treatment. gray water carries lots of stuff that will grow in the system real fast and faster with heat. the amount of treatment would not be worth the cost to do it right. here in canada we had to guys that ran the water treatment plant , (Walkerton Ont) they killed people just by forgetting and mixing stuff up (they were found impaired), anyway I work in water treatment, there s more then just adding chemicals.

gbstewart
__________________
my bus build viewtopic.php?f=9&t=5931
gbstewart is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-26-2010, 07:58 PM   #3
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: eastern Washington state
Posts: 23
Re: Water Recirculation System

Thanks for input. I was expecting to have to filter the water again for drinking or even better keep a separate drinking water supply.

There are some impressive portable water filtering systems being used in the third world for visitors and are available online. I suspect the water would go stale after not too long hence a good idea to change the water regularly.

On the positive side, you can stay out longer in terms of water, and take long showers and baths!
greatidea is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-26-2010, 08:46 PM   #4
Bus Nut
 
bus-bro's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Whidbey Island, WA.
Posts: 923
Year: 1984
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: All American
Engine: 3208 na boat anchor
Rated Cap: 2
Re: Water Recirculation System

To make the grey water potable water would take more than filtration, unless you prefer to drink soap. Distillation or a RO unit, and that after much filtration. It's expensive to do.

I've used grey water to flush a toilet in a house; which works, but grey water gets stinky. I didn't want to use cholrine as the toilet went to a septic tank. Wife left and so did water use problems. The house used rainwater collected in cisterns, so the supply was finite. I went back to using rainwater for flushing. It's easier.
bus-bro is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-27-2010, 11:08 AM   #5
Bus Geek
 
lornaschinske's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Roswell, NM
Posts: 3,587
Year: 1986
Coachwork: BlueBird
Chassis: 40 ft All American FE
Engine: 8.2LTA Fuel Pincher DD V8
Rated Cap: 89
Re: Water Recirculation System

Quote:
Originally Posted by Smitty
... Look on YouTube at solar distillers (something that wouldn't require power from the bus) or something you could do over a fire (basically a moonshine still ).

Smitty
Just gotta watch out for those damned Revenuers! My grandfathers both had problems with them... My mother's father ran rum up from Cuba during Prohibition and my father's father made 'shine... all the time. would you believe they still have Rvenuers running around the mountains bothering folks? I don't see how anyone can sell 'shine and make a profit on it.... Not that I know anyone who still makes the stuff.
__________________
This post is my opinion. It is not intended to influence anyone's judgment nor do I advocate anyone do what I propose.
Fulltime since 2006
The goal of life is living in agreement with nature. Zeno (335BC-264BC)
https://lorndavi.wordpress.com/blog/
https://i570.photobucket.com/albums/s...ps0340a6ff.jpg
lornaschinske is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-27-2010, 11:51 AM   #6
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: eastern Washington state
Posts: 23
Re: Water Recirculation System

Thanks all for the great input. I will look into the distilling idea. At the moment (and tentatively) I was thinking of a dirt/sand based first stage cleaning process (also see YouTube) to be immediately followed by UV bombardment. Again this is not for drinking.
greatidea is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-27-2010, 10:06 PM   #7
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: eastern Washington state
Posts: 23
Re: Water Recirculation System

Thanks all for your posts. I am confused that so many are mentioning drinking the water when that is a sideshow to this whole thing.

Frankly I would want a separate source of drinking water. This topic concerns cleaning, UVing and recirculating water for nondrinking purposes.

I must have written it poorly as so many are bringing up drinking the water.
greatidea is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-28-2010, 12:04 PM   #8
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: eastern Washington state
Posts: 23
Re: Water Recirculation System

Thank you Smitty!
greatidea is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-28-2010, 01:08 PM   #9
New Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 9
Year: 1989
Coachwork: Unsure
Chassis: Chevy Van 30
Engine: Chevy 350
Rated Cap: 16
Re: Water Recirculation System

I have worked on constant recirculating potable water system on aircraft.
They use UV lights to cleanse the water, this will even remove the worst contamination.
The idea behind the constant recirculating system is that you use a pump that is gravity fed from the tank, ie just underneath it.
The pump send the water around a looped system back to the storage tank.
Heres the good bit.
Place a restrictor valve at the end of the return at the top of the storage tank.
This ensures pressurization of the system.
You can then take feeder lines from the loop to the faucets and you get pressurized delivery.
The water also stays "fresh" as it is constantly recirculating through the UV disinfectant unit.
You can get commercial UV filtration systems from hot tub specialists.
All parts are available as 12 volt and the pump can be activated on demand to provide water
at the faucet and on timer to recirculate water through the sterilizer back to the tank.
Do not forget to baffle the tank, water is heavy and shifts.
pipsqueek is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-29-2010, 07:17 AM   #10
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: KANATA
Posts: 30
Year: 1993
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Ford B600
Engine: 5.9 Cummins/ 5spd
Rated Cap: 36
Re: Water Recirculation System

Quote:
Originally Posted by Smitty
pipsqueek- Wouldn't the pump serve to pressurize water delivery?

Smitty
Not if it is a free flow open loop system.
Diddly is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-29-2010, 08:53 AM   #11
New Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 9
Year: 1989
Coachwork: Unsure
Chassis: Chevy Van 30
Engine: Chevy 350
Rated Cap: 16
Re: Water Recirculation System

Quote:
pipsqueek- Wouldn't the pump serve to pressurize water delivery?
Only if the system was closed, ie the feed goes from the tank directly to the faucet.
This system is an open loop to allow the water to be circulated through the disinfectant UV back to the tank bypassing the closed faucet.
This ensures the water in the tank is regularly disinfected, maybe on a timer.
If the restrictor was not present then the water would take the path of least resistance when the faucet was opened ie back into the tank or just dribble out of the faucet.
With the restrictor the path of least resistance is the faucet.
pipsqueek is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-30-2010, 01:12 PM   #12
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: eastern Washington state
Posts: 23
Re: Water Recirculation System

I wanted to share the advice on how to re-use gray water in the manner I want to, that I just got from a professional gray water recycling consultant. (There are a number of them actually.)

Remember I want to use recycled gray water only for showering, washing hands, laundry and dishes (not cooking and drinking.)

It could be best if I would use it only for showering and laundry and that still may be what I'll do.

First off I am not advocating doing this to anyone and if you do it, you do it at your own risk, (sadly that includes me).

One important tip he gave is that that UV protects water from various contaminants for only up to around 24 hours.

I will be using a hot tub or pool filtration system (all that urine, sweat, dead skin, dirt, bacteria, etc. needs to be filtered out of hot tubs and pools too,) and just after that a UV light of the correct intensity and off to the storage tank it goes. Later when the water is actually being used, IMMEDIATELY before it arrives on me physically, there is another UV unit that nails it. (Looping the water back through the previous mentioned UV unit is another way to go if you know how to do that economically.)

Frankly I think he got pretty excited about the concept as apparently he is the mature kind that never thought of such a crazy idea. He thought it could be built for around $2000 which I suspect didn't include labor. It's going to have to be a bunch cheaper for me though and I'll be looking for used pool/hot tub filtration equipment (not the filters of course) and I'll do my own labor. It unfortunately will mean more plumbing and at least one more water storage tank than normal.
greatidea is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-30-2010, 01:40 PM   #13
New Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 9
Year: 1989
Coachwork: Unsure
Chassis: Chevy Van 30
Engine: Chevy 350
Rated Cap: 16
Re: Water Recirculation System

Quote:
Then how could the pump could force water through a restrictor, but not a faucet?
The faucet closes off the line completely, The restrictor only obstructs flow to create pressure in the system.
A faucet is designed to close off a minimum of 80psi in a household cold water system, the restrictor only need to bring the pressure up to about 20psi.
You can use one of those water shutoff valves you have on the washing machine water line feeds as a restrictor and open or close it to get a good working pressure and flow in the faucet.
pipsqueek is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-01-2010, 08:29 AM   #14
New Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 9
Year: 1989
Coachwork: Unsure
Chassis: Chevy Van 30
Engine: Chevy 350
Rated Cap: 16
Re: Water Recirculation System

Quote:
HUH?
I am not quite sure what you do not understand about how a faucet (tap) works.

The faucet (tap) you have on your sink in your kitchen switches the water on or off, or will also mix various quantities of warm and cold.

It is still basically an on/off switch.

The pressure in your household cold water system can be anywhere between 30 and 80 psi.
pipsqueek is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-01-2010, 11:23 PM   #15
New Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 9
Year: 1989
Coachwork: Unsure
Chassis: Chevy Van 30
Engine: Chevy 350
Rated Cap: 16
Re: Water Recirculation System

I now see where the confusion lies.
80 psi is not the minimum you will see in a domestic water supply it could be as low as 30psi.
The domestic faucet is designed to shut off a minimum of 80psi water pressure.
ie it will close off any water pressure below 80psi or in fact below a higher pressure depending on its design.

The pump will feed water to the faucet with the metering device in place because the metering device creates a back pressure and as soon as the faucet is opened then the water will flow.
If the metering device (restrictor) is not present then the back pressure does not exist,ie the loop feeds back into the tank unimpeded.
You may get some feed to the faucet when it gets opened but not much, especially if the faucet is at the high point in the system.
With the metering device (restrictor) you do not need a head of water to feed the faucet.
The idea of this system is not just to pump water to the faucet, it is also to pump water around the loop when the faucet is closed.

I am glad we sorted that out, didn't want us to think each other was a ninkumpoop!! (spelling?)

I have been trying to upload a jpeg of the system but I keep getting an error message when I upload.

Could not upload attachment to ./files/5110_c5104598aeb6f48a55e9185947ecf96d.
pipsqueek is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-02-2010, 12:11 PM   #16
New Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 9
Year: 1989
Coachwork: Unsure
Chassis: Chevy Van 30
Engine: Chevy 350
Rated Cap: 16
Re: Water Recirculation System

Quote:
How many water systems (unless it's a specific commercial use) run 80+ PSI on water pressure?
Check the design standard for your house in your area, you might be surprised.
Domestic mains supply can exceed 200psi and a restrictor need to be installed at entry into your house.
Typical UK pressures are 4-5 bar (60-75psi) for an urban supply. However, some people can get over 8 bars (135psi) or below one bar (15psi). (Wikipedia)

I would only envisage a pressure requirement of about 30psi to give a good supply in an RV system maybe more if you have a shower.
Pipe diameter used also affects the required pressure, small pipes need larger pressures to get higher flows.
If you know what the maximum flow required is then it is easy to calculate pipe sizes and pressures and therefore pump size.

Plastic faucets and valves etc if used would certainly not be capable of residential pressures.

Quote:
By designing a system that requires power 100% of the time, I'm guessing you plan on having shore power available 100% of the time?
Not at all, as I already stated it will be run on a 12 volt system and timer

Quote:
It would appear that the reason one would consider recycling gray water,
I am not advocating recycling grey water at all, this system ONLY circulates drinking water.
I do not know if recycling grey water is even legal.

Quote:
I also don't understand why you need to "gravity feed" a pump?
Its do do with what type of pump you use. Is it self priming or not. Even self priming pumps can suffer from "Cavitation" problems. Having gravity feed gets rid of all problems in this area.

I agree with you that if you have your water tank on the roof then head pressure may be the only requirement to get water flow
This design is to allow the tank to be installed inside the RV and allow delivery to points above the tank and also allow intermittent cycling of the water thru a disinfector.
It has been working very well for a few years now on a lot of high end private jets.
FYI aircraft do not recycle grey water they sometimes even eject it overboard before landing.
DO NOT drink the water from any faucet in any commercial aircraft.
pipsqueek is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-01-2011, 11:30 AM   #17
New Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 5
Re: Water Recirculation System

Hi guys... I'm new to Skoolie site.

The idea of recycling grey-water and the benefit it could be when boondocking has had me researching feverishly for nearly a month now. What I have come across seems to be a paradox.

On the side of filtering, though an RO (Reverse Osmosis) filter is best (.00005 micron) it is a huge waste of water. This leaves carbon filters (.05 micron) and based on info I have found, they are nearly as effective as RO except for nitrate and phosphate removal. Either filter system should be coupled with UV or Ozonation treatment in order to kill off bacteria. By all accounts of both lab tests and manufacturer claims this type of filtering produces 93-99.9% pure water.

However, every reference to reusing grey water for human consumption is met with "Don't Do It!" When trying to find out why/what is in grey water which is dangerous and that the above mentioned systems won't treat I cannot seem to find a single identified chemical, substance, bacteria etc. that is mentioned.

So the paradox is that a water treatment system, i.e. Sediment filter to Activated Carbon (5 micron) to Carbon Block (.05 micron) to UV treatment has a claim of 99% clean but then people in the water industry say treating grey water is complicated, time consuming, and non portable yet never state exactly why. It is starting to feel like when your parents would answer a question with "Because I said so."

Just to clarify, I do realize that successful treatment of grey water depends largely on what has gone into the water. Phosphate based detergents for example can quickly become a problem as well as water from high nitrate areas such as farms and nurseries when using a carbon filtering process. My hope is that someone knows what exactly it is which makes people so universally opposed to recycling grey water.
__________________
Life is simple if you simply live
moving_on is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-01-2011, 01:45 PM   #18
Bus Geek
 
lornaschinske's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Roswell, NM
Posts: 3,587
Year: 1986
Coachwork: BlueBird
Chassis: 40 ft All American FE
Engine: 8.2LTA Fuel Pincher DD V8
Rated Cap: 89
Re: Water Recirculation System

People object to recycling grey water because it contains more than "soap" and water. When I was a kid living in FL, our washing machine dumped the waste water out into the yard. No harm to the grass except from the hot water (killed the grass in a very small area). That was just the washing machine.

A day of grey water in your holding tank....
You take a shower with your biodegradable soap and you wash skin cells, dirt, bacteria and, traces of body waste (e coli... do you have anything like... herpes? How about a yeast infection? Do you know for sure?).

After your shower, you brush your teeth and rinse your mouth out with water. The waste water goes down to your holding tank... consisting of bacteria and germs from your mouth. Do you have a cold? The flu? Something worse? Did you hear about the lady with the measles that managed to go thru 4 different airports? You wouldn't know until you got sick.

How about cooking your supper? Baked chicken sounds nice. Make sure you wash your hands before starting. You don't want to get sick from a nasty germ on your hands. Don't use that antibacterial soap... what it doesn't kill, mutates! Now the recipe says to rinse the chicken in cold water and pat dry... where did the water go? Oh that's right the chicken and any fluids from the chicken just went down the sink drain to the waste tank... along with (most likely) some salmonella bacteria.

Okay, now you are saying "but I'm not sick".... Here comes your guests.... And they use your facilities... of course they are washing the germs and bacteria down the sink into the waste tank.... how is their health?

Grey water is dangerous, there is no telling what all may be in it. That is why you don't see anything specific.

If you are planning on recycling grey water then do some research on it and read up. If you are "recycling" washing machine water to flush your toilet that's one thing. Just fill a tub and wash a good load of dishes. Now strain it out with a window screen into a bucket. Set it in the bathroom for a couple of days with a lid on it. Now take a whiff of the bucket. this is what you will be flushing with. Not drinking, but just flushing with. What you save on water you will spend on air freshener.

RV's use less water than most Stix-n-Brix homes and sometimes less than some of those "green" folks. If you want to save on water, the put low flow shower heads/faucet in your RV. An RV toilet uses very little water.



http://www.motherearthnews.com/searc...arch=Greywater
__________________
This post is my opinion. It is not intended to influence anyone's judgment nor do I advocate anyone do what I propose.
Fulltime since 2006
The goal of life is living in agreement with nature. Zeno (335BC-264BC)
https://lorndavi.wordpress.com/blog/
https://i570.photobucket.com/albums/s...ps0340a6ff.jpg
lornaschinske is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-01-2011, 02:59 PM   #19
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 362
Re: Water Recirculation System

I've also recently been researching this, and I'm finding similar frustrations.

Thank you Lorna for providing some concrete examples.

In my case, I'm considering the use of 2 tanks for bathing purposes. Tank 1 would start with fresh water, run through the shower into tank 2. Nothing else would be plumbed or to these tanks (other than fresh water fill, and dump of course). My thinking is to then run the used shower water through filtration and decontamination and back into Tank 1. Particulate filtering can get almost everything, and the U/V light can get most everything else.

However, this doesn't remove liquids other than water from the system. Nitrates and phosphates, and who knows what else, might be left. Those two in particular promote algae growth.

*if* we do go down this path (a big if), then we are considering changing shampoos and soaps to ones that have less nitrates and phosphates.

In this situation, we're only talking about reusing bathing water for bathing purposes. We don't plan to share our bathing facility. Sinks would go into different tanks.

If things go to hell in a hand-basket (ie, zombies have attacked, or some kind of apocalypse, or whatnot), I would consider taking filtered water from my grey tank and putting it into a berkey filter for drinking if nothing else were available.

Good luck in your research, and please post back with your results. I for one would love to find a cost effective and energy efficient method to reuse all that water.

jim
baadpuppy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-01-2011, 03:37 PM   #20
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 362
Re: Water Recirculation System

On deeper reflection, Lorna has talked me out of this. I have plenty of tank space, I'll just make use of it.

jim
baadpuppy is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Solar water heating system idea ThePimentals Conversion General Discussions 8 08-19-2014 07:12 PM
Out-of-the-box fresh water system thoughts... Jarlaxle Conversion General Discussions 13 03-21-2010 10:25 PM
pressurized water system icnivad Plumbing, Water and Waste 5 08-28-2009 08:30 PM
Fresh Water system Advice pixie Conversion General Discussions 1 12-26-2005 11:52 PM
How to vent a fresh water pressurized system? captainkf Conversion General Discussions 5 12-21-2005 08:12 PM

» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 03:45 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
×