Playa Tested Greywater Evaporator

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Postby ibdave » Mon Jan 14, 2008 11:08 pm

bump.....
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Postby motskyroonmatick » Tue Jan 15, 2008 7:39 pm

I set up my polondo/comandante marcos evaporator again this year and it worked terribly.

Here is what I did and where things went wrong.
My first mistake was working on it in an amazingly sleep deprived state. In that condition I nearly lost all problem solving skills.
This last years set up arrangement increased the total head needed to pump water up to the disc and that increased 12 volt electricity use. In turn the abused battery would not operate the sump pump all night long like it used to. It also seemed like my charge controller was not working properly as it was putting out 18 volts. The solar panels did charge the battery but there was a huge difference in performance from the year before. I also placed the evaporator in such a manner that it was in the shade from about 11am till sunrise. This was also a shielded from the wind scenario. Furthermore the plywood disk had warped to a state where any number of attempted remedies could not make the flow down the sides even. All of these problems reduced evaporation. I got so tired of dealing with it that I let it run in that inefficient state and carried approx 25 gallons of grey water home.

New for this year
New disk. New battery. New charge controller. Bike innertube around the edge of the disk to distribute flow. Place in direct sunlight. Set up before beginning of event if I get early arrival.
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Postby bellboy » Tue Jan 15, 2008 11:23 pm

we solved the warped plywood problem by using a plastic table top, you know one of the white ones that holds an umbrella, found on the street. had a cone shaped thing in the hole with the hose connected to it. we constructed our shower out of 2 wind surfing sails which also sheltered the evap from the wind. people actually came up and started to play with the water as it flowed over the table top thinking it was a fountain ..... we ended up with only 7 gallons to carry home and that included all the gray water from my RV as well as 9 campmates.
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Postby Toolmaker » Wed Jan 16, 2008 4:49 am

Dont let the someone set it up streetside so random participants can dump stuff in it during the day and piss in it at night.
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Postby ibdave » Wed Jan 16, 2008 4:52 pm

Plastic Table top... What a great IDEA..... My plywood top is painted flat black. It has now warped in the 2 years on the Playa.. I just scrap it off before heading back to the Playa... But the Plastic top is much lighter... 8) 8) 8)
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Postby motskyroonmatick » Wed Jan 16, 2008 6:03 pm

That table top is a brilliant idea!!! How do you secure the hardware cloth to it? What did you use for the cone. I've been trying to think of something but can't come up with anything.
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Postby BitterDan » Wed Jan 16, 2008 6:09 pm

Toolmaker wrote:Dont let the someone set it up streetside so random participants can dump stuff in it during the day and piss in it at night.


Hmm, I wonder if I could make a solar still that was efficient enough to convert an entire camp's urine into pure water? I wonder...
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Postby mereth » Wed Jan 16, 2008 6:12 pm

BitterDan wrote:
Toolmaker wrote:Dont let the someone set it up streetside so random participants can dump stuff in it during the day and piss in it at night.


Hmm, I wonder if I could make a solar still that was efficient enough to convert an entire camp's urine into pure water? I wonder...


Would bring new meaning to "Piss Clear". :P
Okay, so ten out of ten for style, but minus several million for good thinking, yeah?
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Postby BitterDan » Wed Jan 16, 2008 6:15 pm

Nice. :D

The main problem I forsee is the nasty, disease-ridden tub of evaporated urine remains and trying to bring it home.... On second thought, the porta-potties are just fine for me. :P
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Postby bellboy » Wed Jan 16, 2008 7:48 pm

That table top is a brilliant idea!!! How do you secure the hardware cloth to it? What did you use for the cone. I've been trying to think of something but can't come up with anything.



i drilled some holes in the top and ziptied the mesh to it. for the cone i had a filter housing from some medical equipment which meant that i had hoses the right size too. you could try a large funnel .... i didn't paint since it becomes playa colored in the first day.

bB~
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Postby motskyroonmatick » Wed Jan 16, 2008 8:34 pm

Thanks bellboy!
You live where I was born. Cool.
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Postby capjbadger » Sun Jun 15, 2008 2:51 pm

Bump for jofezasa. :)

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Postby EB » Thu Jun 19, 2008 3:26 pm

I plan on drinking all of our camp's grey water so I can pee it into the portajohns with a clear conscience.

The gas money I save on the ride home will go towards a new kidney!
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Postby Mad Electrician » Sun Jun 22, 2008 11:12 am

It's probably about time I surface and say hello!

NICE work by all who have tried, still trying, and wish to try "tricke down" greywater evaporation. I hope to cruise around this year a check out all the type variations.

The original design, shown at the start of this thread, evolved from a smaller 36" wide disk using 48" high "hardware cloth". Beat all of my expectations by a long shot.

Camp space is so precious, the less used for huge evap ponds, the better.
Having a slightly oversized unit can bring your neighbors even closer. Community evaporation is a great LNT example. A little chlorine on hand is good to use when evapo odors or colors shift from good to bad.

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Why isn't my water cascading smoothly?

Postby DizzyPickle » Sun Jun 29, 2008 10:08 pm

http://www.fileden.com/files/2006/8/11/ ... sh%203.JPG

This photo shows our attempt to replicate the Original Recipe. I'm concerned that the water isn't filling the 'cells' of the hardware cloth, but is instead dribbling out in droplets (and causing a modestly wider radius of splashing than we wanted).

We poked at this for a long time today trying to smooth out the appearance of our water cascading down, but had only modest luck. We did this in a flat concrete garage, so our table was fairly close to level.

Things that we've tried included:
- we folded the leftover mesh down on top of the table and taped it down. This lets the water collect in the grid a bit before going over the edge. Helped somewhat.
- higher volume of water. This helps a little, but I suspect is just masking an underlying problem.
- various folds and angles on the hardware cloth. Straight vertical seems ideal, but was insufficient on its own.
- added a 'lip' of duct tape around the edge of the table to dam up a bit of water. Does help even distribution, but otherwise little effect on filling the cells.
- played with having a container placed over the spout to smooth out the water flow. Little effect.

The biggest influence seemed to be tinkering with the table-to-disc edge connection.

Differences include:
- Our table is about 1' shorter
- The table edge looks a little less 'square cornered' due to the molding of the table edge.
- We're using a 600GPH pump.
- The hose from pump to surface of table is 3/4". The table opening itself is 1.5" (there's an adapter just beneath the table to convert diamaters). The height of our 'fountain head' is actually a little higher than shown in the Original Recipe photo though. Unclear whether we're effectively pushing more, less, or about the same amount of water.
- The water in our prototype isn't yet full of soapy materials, so has higher surface tension...maybe things would smooth out if we'd thought to put some bleach or shampoo in our sample?
- The hardware cloth we're using is black plastic rather than metal. The size of the cells appears to be about the same, but the grid itself may be a little thicker?



My questions:
- Are others getting the 'filled cell' look with their implementations?
- Anyone have insight onto how important getting this look from our water is to overall efficiency?
- Based on the list of differences, is there something else we should try?

Any tips appreciated!
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Postby motskyroonmatick » Sun Jun 29, 2008 10:42 pm

My evaporator is placed on a plywood deck and then I have a tarp under the whole thing so that any over spray evaporates off of that. I think the main concern with efficiency is getting the water to distribute evenly off the edge of the disk. It was recommended to me at the last burn to make a giant rubber band out of bad bike inner tubes and to put that around the top like you did with the tape. I never tried it but I do know that cloth in the same manner does not work.
I think there would be a benefit to using the metal hardware cloth as it retains its round shape well and can actually hold up quite a bit of weight unreinforced. I also think that the water interacts with the metal differently than with plastic. I think the water clings to the metal mesh whereas the plastic sheds the water easily. If this is the case it might be part of the spray problem. Possibly metal and plastic mesh one on top of the other would be a way to get even more surface area.
Let us know how it goes.
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Postby DizzyPickle » Mon Jun 30, 2008 9:54 am

I tried an A/B comparison of the black plastic hardware cloth vs the metal hardware cloth this morning (just using scraps and a hose - haven't actually constructed both systems). Metal definitely held the "filled cell" look better. I suspect replacing that will be sufficient to 'fix' our system.
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Postby Jesus » Fri Sep 19, 2008 8:33 pm

BitterDan wrote:Nice. :D

The main problem I foresee is the nasty, disease-ridden tub of evaporated urine remains and trying to bring it home.... On second thought, the porta-potties are just fine for me. :P

Urine is normally sterile. Not that I think the idea is practical. I use a Fremin Stillsuit. :P

My project for next year: a nuclear power plant. Who wants to help?
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Postby AntiM » Fri Sep 19, 2008 9:09 pm

Our little submersible pump/fan combo worked fine until we didn't get to it quick enough before the white-outs clogged it all to hell. I think it would work fine under relatively "normal" playa conditions.
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Re: Playa Tested Greywater Evaporator

Postby madmatt » Sat Sep 20, 2008 12:02 pm

Mr. Polando wrote:My camp has been using a very effective greywater evaporator for the last couple of years. We never had the need to evaporate more than 30 gallons a day - but it easily handled that load.

Image

We used another small pump to move water from the shower to the pool. Some improvements for this year may include a small sump for the sump pump and gravity feed lines from the shower and sink.

This evaporation project was realized by my ingenious campmate: El Subcomandante Marcos.


Hey Polando - thanks for posting the plans for this evap fountain. We used the plans to make two of them, one in the kitchen grey water evap pond and one in the shower evap pond.

It worked perfectly!!! Except that we used window screen material and it wasn't sturdy enough to remain vertical in the wind, so we weighed it down.

We used a sump pump for one and a manual on/off pump for the other. We dug holes in the playa underneath a corner of the pond to make an indentation, so there was a little deep spot that filled up with water as the pond bottom got more water in it.

Both pumps were wrapped in multilple layers of screen, mesh, other stuff to filter out debris, but mostly, it protected the pumps from the dust. We built a little cover over the sump pump ditch, which was about 18 inches deep to keep dust off that.

Everything worked perfectly, they both keep pumping and doing their stinking little fountains right through the dust storm on Monday. We meanwhile were busy with a rockin happy hour through the whole storm!!!! :D

Thanks again for posting the plans!!!!! Next year, more improvements.
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Postby Elorrum » Sat Sep 20, 2008 3:23 pm

tremendous design going on here. I love the hardware cloth as wicking material, a breakthrough in thinking for me. Not as much dust to bring home. I was blindly seized on the perfect fabric meaning textile cloth. It's more about surface area and continuous flow. As the pump flow rate went down, or if using a gravity feed, then saturation and holding power of a fabric would be more important... then you get better mud. I love thinking about this stuff, and not many people I know, I assure you, want to talk about it with me.

As a solo camper, I gave up on evap altogether this year, and it was easy, contained, and gathered very little dust. The greywater volume for one person is no where near what a camp encounters. I used an empty 5 gallon water container (well marked not drinkable), a big plastic funnel, and some aquarium filter floss, basically just polyester batting... I wonder if that would be cheaper material. I used a one quart garden sprayer to rinse the dishes directly over the funnel. The filter floss dries fast and becomes dry trash, insert new floss for next rinse cycle. I washed my hair over a rubbermaid sink tub. I got a one liter haircut this summer. Hoo-aahs field towels worked great for quick wash before bed. Dr. bronners, washcloth and rubbermaid tub for more thorough wash. Dr. Bronners bottle also doubles for some interesting reading material, and the peppermint smell is very refreshing. I put some bleach in the 5 gallon container, and ended up bringing it home less than half full.
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Postby StevenGoodman » Mon Sep 22, 2008 11:56 am

"some aquarium filter floss, basically just polyester batting... I wonder if that would be cheaper material."

Cheese cloth.

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Re: Playa Tested Greywater Evaporator

Postby cullen » Mon Nov 03, 2008 8:45 pm

Mr. Polando wrote:My camp has been using a very effective greywater evaporator for the last couple of years. We never had the need to evaporate more than 30 gallons a day - but it easily handled that load.

Image

We used another small pump to move water from the shower to the pool. Some improvements for this year may include a small sump for the sump pump and gravity feed lines from the shower and sink.

This evaporation project was realized by my ingenious campmate: El Subcomandante Marcos.



how did the wire mesh handle in strong winds?

i'm thinking of combining some of these ideas into a shower plan.
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Postby motskyroonmatick » Mon Nov 03, 2008 9:23 pm

The mesh has almost no wind resistance. Water will be carried off the screen in hight wind so some form of secondary water catch is advisable. I just put my set up above a large tarp and let the sun take care of the over spray when it happens.
My shower drains in to the sump for my evaporator. I use a big pool for the evaporator and a small one for the shower base. I installed a normal kitchen sink drain in each one and pipe it to the sump with sump pump tubing and normal under the sink parts. Duct tape is usually a necessary component.
I've heard that round PVC patio table tops make the best top for this setup.
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Postby cullen » Mon Nov 03, 2008 9:50 pm

i was thinking if i drilled small holes in the pvc pipe that will be the framing of my shower i could attach the mesh to that, letting the water run down the mesh (kind like how those water walls work). then the pump could be used as double duty. first for the grey water evap and second to provide enough pressure for a shower after placing it in the bottom of a five gallon bucket of water.
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Postby AntiM » Tue Nov 04, 2008 8:21 am

Our pump clogged in the severe dust storms last year. We didn't get to it in time to turn it off.
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Postby motskyroonmatick » Tue Nov 04, 2008 5:20 pm

I would not recommend using grey water pumping stuff for shower water pumping. My grey water gets quite gross and stinky so you know all sorts of weird stuff is growing in it. Just a thought.
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Postby Elliot » Tue Apr 07, 2009 2:13 pm

:D
A bump seems called for.

And I'm wondering how we can get some real information on the risk of spreading germs?
:D
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Postby DrPeffer » Mon May 04, 2009 3:27 pm

Regarding Mr. Polando's evaporator design, which seems to be pretty popular...With me, too. I'm about to build mine to test it out a bit before taking it to the Playa this summer. A thought:

Seems one of the difficulties with the design is keeping the top disc perfectly level, to allow water to cascade evenly down the hardware cloth column. In thinking about it, I'm wondering whether a cone-shaped top would solve that problem. The cone would taper to a point at the top, where the water comes out. Maybe helpful would be the previously-suggested addition of an inner tube at the 'bottom' of the cone (where it meets the hardware cloth) to pool the water before allowing it to cascade down the sides.

Sounds like it would do the trick to me. The only question I have left is: What kind of device or material would be suitable for making such a cone? I suppose you could cut some thin plastic sheeting and form one. They don't make 4-foot diameter funnels for any industrial applications, do they?
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Postby dragonpilot » Mon May 04, 2009 4:58 pm

My most fervent prayer is that I NEVER again set up camp and then have some dip shit move in next door who's running an evaporator system with a generator. SOB set up his fucking generator away from his camp, alright...but right next to our camp. Of course it's running during the day time and the noise forced us to have to relocate after we'd spent 2 days setting up our camp.

When the ass hole was politely asked to moved his fucking generator to somewhere closer to HIS camp, he gets all huffy and tells us to fuck off and who made us the generator police.

I'm sure that no one here would think of setting up their generator and annoying your neighbors. The trance at 4 AM most of us can handle, but the fucking generators 10 hours a day...c'mon!
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