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How to Manage Washing Machine Waste Water

  • Transcript

    LESLIE: Seth in Texas, you’ve got The Money Pit. How can we help you today?

    SETH: Yes. I moved into an older house about six months ago and it’s got a couple quirks that I need help with. One is that the washing machine is piped out to a pseudo gray-water system, just piped out into the yard.

    TOM: OK. OK.

    SETH: And I sort of want to develop on that but I need some advice on how to do it up right, because it’s just dumping out next to a tree and soaking the yard in that one spot.

    TOM: Yeah. So what you want to do here – and that’s not unusual in some areas, because the working theory is that you want to keep your waste water from your washing machine away from your septic field so it doesn’t affect the organic disintegration that’s going on in that space.

    LESLIE: And that’s an issue with the detergent, correct?

    TOM: Right. Detergent, bleach, that sort of thing. So, if you don’t want to see it spill out across your yard, what I would do is I would simply build a pit there. So what you would do is you would dig a hole, say, about 3 feet wide and maybe a couple of feet deep. And you’d aim that gray-water pipe from the washing machine to kind of come in maybe a few inches below the surface. So now that pit will sort of fill up with water, that water will soak into the soil and it won’t permeate the top of the pit.

    Now, at the top of it, what you do is you put filter cloth and then soil and grass, so the whole thing will be invisible when you’re all done.

    SETH: OK. Thank you very much.

    LESLIE: Thanks so much for calling The Money Pit.

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