Playa Tested Greywater Evaporator

Talk about your camp or project's LNT plans (and MOOP problems) here. Ask questions or share ideas on what works and what doesn't.

Postby swampdog » Thu Jun 09, 2011 5:19 pm

Hi Illy Dilly. The Evap you show is mine. I used it successfully in 09 as a shower and evap but it got very limited use. The idea was to hang towels on the frame for a minimal shower screen and then use them to mop up and hang them to dry. I also intended to use it for (very limited) cleaned kitchen graywater but I couldn't get the kitchen graywater clean enough for my bare feet and also generated very little of it so I just hauled it out.

If you wanted to expand the concept you could also put crossbars on this structure easily - just use a higher internal diameter tee to string on opposing sides of the existing crossbars.

Let me know if you want more info on this.
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Postby illy dilly » Fri Jun 10, 2011 7:24 am

swampdog wrote:Hi Illy Dilly. The Evap you show is mine. I used it successfully in 09 as a shower and evap but it got very limited use. The idea was to hang towels on the frame for a minimal shower screen and then use them to mop up and hang them to dry. I also intended to use it for (very limited) cleaned kitchen graywater but I couldn't get the kitchen graywater clean enough for my bare feet and also generated very little of it so I just hauled it out.

If you wanted to expand the concept you could also put crossbars on this structure easily - just use a higher internal diameter tee to string on opposing sides of the existing crossbars.

Let me know if you want more info on this.

Hell yeah!
Do you mind that I posted the picture?
Thank you very much for the input!
What sorta plastic did you use? There is a roll of 10'x30' 3.5mil black plastic at Home Depot for about 10bucks.
We are not shooting for any sort of shower. And I do plan to put nasty kitchen water there.
I'm thinking 4x8 plywood, with 2x4 or 2x6 nailed up right to the ply wood. With the tarp inside, typical. Then I'm thinking (3) pieces of 3/4" PVC Cut into a 3',4',3'. This will create 3 U shaped pieces, 3' tall and 4' wide. They will sorta look like the white Croquet Wickets. Then I'll connect each of the 3 pieces with a stringer at the top someplace, probaly about 3' apart. This will give it some strength.

I'll cut the 3' pieces that are the up rights, at an angle, so they cant easily be driven into the playa. The PVC elbows will give me the little bit of extra 1/2" (on each side) I'll need to clear the out side of the 4' wide pool.

Oldguy,
Do flannel sheets wick water very well? I didn't think about this as an option. There is all sorts of stuff, at the thrift stores, and for cheap.
I'll build the structure, then go drop all of 9 bucks on all sorts of fabric and give it all a test dry.
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Postby illy dilly » Fri Jun 10, 2011 7:28 am

Thinking about this shower idea....

Barbie Death camps shower is built on a pallet.
I could find a pallet that will fit in one side of the 4x8 frame. After the 2x6's are in the short side will be 3'-9" or 45".... I could grab a small pallet from work.
But then the pallet would be very close to the edge, and water would most definitely miss the tarp and end up on the playa.....

............... But I'll have extra black tarp. I could build some sorta curtain that goes all the way up the sides, so that water runs down it....

I should think this through then post a thread instead of trying to design and write at the same time.
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Postby swampdog » Fri Jun 10, 2011 8:06 am

Illy, I don't mind in the slightest, I'm flattered. Somewhere I've got a moderately detailed build description, I'll look it up and send it.

The concept is simple - it's really just a towel rack.
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Postby FIGJAM » Fri Jun 10, 2011 8:30 am

Try something like this instead of a pallet for your shower floor.

http://www.materialflow.com/index.cfm?mf=browse.showPart&partClassID=4405&PName=Plastic%20Floor%20Grid

This was just the first I found, but you get the idea.
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Postby illy dilly » Fri Jun 10, 2011 9:43 am

Thanks FigJam!
I totally dig it!
My only thought, is that a pallet is about 4-5 inches tall, which would keep your feet well out of the evap water. (and I could score one for free)
Though, some of that plastic floor grip on top of the pallet is a hell of a good idea. Would keep it from being slippery and would keep the splinter rate down.
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Postby FIGJAM » Fri Jun 10, 2011 9:51 am

Theres plastic pallets.

I was trying to think lighter and more portable than wood.

Gotta be something. :lol:
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Postby illy dilly » Fri Jun 10, 2011 9:59 am

FIGJAM wrote:Theres plastic pallets.

I was trying to think lighter and more portable than wood.

Gotta be something. :lol:

I forgot all about that!
Though, the plastic ones I've used in the past are pretty heavy molded plastic.

You know the plastic deals that are used to stack 2 liter pop bottles? They typically hold 8 bottles (i think). I wonder if I got 4 of those, flipped them over and zip tied them together if it would be sturdy enough to hold.
I'm pretty friendly with the folks at the gas station at the end of my street. And they have a whole pile of crates, and plastic boxes.
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Postby FIGJAM » Fri Jun 10, 2011 10:01 am

4 plastic milk crates, but they would be a little tall. :lol:
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Postby illy dilly » Fri Jun 10, 2011 10:05 am

FIGJAM wrote:4 plastic milk crates, but they would be a little tall. :lol:


Yeah! I think we're on to something here though!
I'll have to stop by the gas station and check it out.
They have all sorts of stuff piled out by a little shed in the corner of the lot. Sometimes is huge, sometimes its gone.
I'll go see what I can mooch from them, then see what I can rig up.

Plastic, also wouldn't hold bacteria like wood. Then I can just drop them at the recycle place when I drop off the glass bottles and aluminum cans. Or if they work really well, put them in a trash bag and save them for next year.
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Postby FIGJAM » Fri Jun 10, 2011 10:54 am

Why the plywood?

The ones I saw just had the 2x4 frame setting on the ground withe the plastic liner.

Just trying to lighten your load. :lol:
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Postby illy dilly » Fri Jun 10, 2011 10:59 am

I don't know.
Seemed like a good idea to keep anything underneath from puncturing a whole, I guess.

Especially if you're going to set something on top of the plastic. I think if it pushed down into the dirt, it could push through the plastic.

Ya thinking its overkill?
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Postby FIGJAM » Fri Jun 10, 2011 11:09 am

Maybe a silver tarp underneath instead of more lumber.

Seems that if the platform has a waight distributing edge, it won't poke holes.
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Postby Elorrum » Fri Jun 10, 2011 5:30 pm

I got a yellow five gallon kerosene container last year. My sister saw it and said, "uh-oh". Me: "what?" She: "you should paint it." me: "I'm not going to paint it. No one's ever going to drink out of a kerosene container." She: "can I paint it?" Me: "if you want to, go for it."
It's one my most favorite things she's done for me, my big sister. She would never go to Burning Man, but she got to have a little burner fun painting this can.
Image

anyway, for one person solo, I don't bother with evaporation. I wash my hair over a basin a few times during the week, take washcloth baths, kitchen gray water, not so ooky, I filter it through a funnel with aquarium floss before it goes in the container. I use a garden sprayer to rinse the dishes, this cuts down on water use. I put a little bleach in the container. Last year, it wasn't more than half full.
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Postby Zhust » Sun Jun 12, 2011 4:49 am

If you'll indulge me, I'd like to repost something I wrote in 2009 and reposted last year on ePlaya:

jaycerochester wrote:According to the Burning Man website, Astral Headwash has had great success with evaporation ponds. As far as I know, they are among the few: probably because they carefully regulate the amount of water. I had written on Tribe a few years back and thought it was worth repeating my take on how an evaporation pond works for a large camp (say 100 people, arbitrarily):

1. Five people set up 2x4's in a big box then install some kind of tarp material (repurposed billboard vinyl is a popular choice).
2. Three more set up the community shower over the pond.
3. Everyone Burns, takes showers, and filters kitchen waste before adding the water to the pond. Everyone ignores the pond for several days.
4. Someone points out on Tuesday that there's 2 inches of water in it. Someone else fashions a line over it and hangs a towel into the water.
5. Everyone sees on Wednesday that there's suddenly less water and congratulates the ingenuity of the towel solution. Three people notice it's actually because the liner sprung a leak somewhere. They try to patch it and end up having to shrink the size of the pond to get the leak to stop.
6. Everyone ignores the pond for the remainder of the Burn.
7. On Monday morning, a few people are concerned that the pond is full of 2 inches of murky, Playa-ridden, filthy water.
8. Everyone in camp packs their personal belongings. 95 of them leave.
9. Five people stay behind. They drink some Pabst they found left by a neighboring camp and stare at the pond -- still full of water -- in the hot afternoon sun.
10. Nobody has a way to take 25 gallons of water home, or at least to the nearest dump. About half the water is bailed in buckets to the JOTS. The remaining 5 people look at one another and shrug, deciding ultimately to just dump the pond and go home.

The result is that 95 people out of 100 used an evaporation pond and it worked: the hot afternoon with no additional water must have evaporated most of the water and the clean-up crew probably had to dry off the tarps a little before taking it down. The 5 people who know what happened will never speak of the fact that they dumped untreated greywater all over the Playa and got the hell out as fast as they could before the BLM found out.


You know that 1 1/2 gallons of water per person per day you brought? On average you drank 2/3rds of it, so there can only be 1/2 gallon per person per day of gray water. Prepare to leave with 1/3 the quantity of water you brought as gray water and call it a day. It's perfectly safe to dump into a municipal sewage system, and likely fine where there is aggressive vegetation (like a temperate forest, not a dry lake bed).
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Postby illy dilly » Mon Jun 13, 2011 9:38 am

jaycerochester wrote:If you'll indulge me, I'd like to repost something I wrote in 2009 and reposted last year on ePlaya:

jaycerochester wrote:According to the Burning Man website, Astral Headwash has had great success with evaporation ponds. As far as I know, they are among the few: probably because they carefully regulate the amount of water. I had written on Tribe a few years back and thought it was worth repeating my take on how an evaporation pond works for a large camp (say 100 people, arbitrarily):

1. Five people set up 2x4's in a big box then install some kind of tarp material (repurposed billboard vinyl is a popular choice).
2. Three more set up the community shower over the pond.
3. Everyone Burns, takes showers, and filters kitchen waste before adding the water to the pond. Everyone ignores the pond for several days.
4. Someone points out on Tuesday that there's 2 inches of water in it. Someone else fashions a line over it and hangs a towel into the water.
5. Everyone sees on Wednesday that there's suddenly less water and congratulates the ingenuity of the towel solution. Three people notice it's actually because the liner sprung a leak somewhere. They try to patch it and end up having to shrink the size of the pond to get the leak to stop.
6. Everyone ignores the pond for the remainder of the Burn.
7. On Monday morning, a few people are concerned that the pond is full of 2 inches of murky, Playa-ridden, filthy water.
8. Everyone in camp packs their personal belongings. 95 of them leave.
9. Five people stay behind. They drink some Pabst they found left by a neighboring camp and stare at the pond -- still full of water -- in the hot afternoon sun.
10. Nobody has a way to take 25 gallons of water home, or at least to the nearest dump. About half the water is bailed in buckets to the JOTS. The remaining 5 people look at one another and shrug, deciding ultimately to just dump the pond and go home.

The result is that 95 people out of 100 used an evaporation pond and it worked: the hot afternoon with no additional water must have evaporated most of the water and the clean-up crew probably had to dry off the tarps a little before taking it down. The 5 people who know what happened will never speak of the fact that they dumped untreated greywater all over the Playa and got the hell out as fast as they could before the BLM found out.


You know that 1 1/2 gallons of water per person per day you brought? On average you drank 2/3rds of it, so there can only be 1/2 gallon per person per day of gray water. Prepare to leave with 1/3 the quantity of water you brought as gray water and call it a day. It's perfectly safe to dump into a municipal sewage system, and likely fine where there is aggressive vegetation (like a temperate forest, not a dry lake bed).


Huh. Sorta along the lines of "if a tree falls in the woods...yadda yadda yadda"
Very interesting.
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High Pressure spray

Postby JungleJim » Thu Jun 16, 2011 8:08 am

Never tried it but seems like a possibility. What about taking a smaller, electric pressure washer with a 30 or 40 foot high fine fan spray nozzle and just run it for a few minutes a couple times a day? If the grey water is well filtered - just shower water with no food or other contaminates, do you think it would be unhealthy? I know that with a fan spray nozzle almost all the water is put into such a fine mist it is gone quickly, and it were attached to a collapsible flag pole 40 feet in the air, virtually 100% would go to vapor before it reached the ground. If it plugged, it would be easy to lower the pole to clean the nozzle Thoughts?
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Postby illy dilly » Thu Jun 16, 2011 9:35 am

To me filtering gray water sounds like a pain in the ass. I will strain the dirty dish water some, but there will be floater for sure. My plan is to just wrap up the black plastic and throw it away.

Since this is my first Evap Pond. I'm sticking with the KISS method of design. And if the whole thing fails and has to be thrown out/burned. I don't want to have to much cash wrapped up in it.

I saw a 'solar dirty water pump' on the Harbor Freight site. If I were gonna go with any thing mechanical/electrical I would probably start there.

Though you idea would probably work very well, as long as no one was inhaling/touching the gray water mist.
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Re: High Pressure spray

Postby capjbadger » Thu Jun 16, 2011 5:08 pm

JungleJim wrote:Never tried it but seems like a possibility. What about taking a smaller, electric pressure washer with a 30 or 40 foot high fine fan spray nozzle and just run it for a few minutes a couple times a day? If the grey water is well filtered - just shower water with no food or other contaminates, do you think it would be unhealthy? I know that with a fan spray nozzle almost all the water is put into such a fine mist it is gone quickly, and it were attached to a collapsible flag pole 40 feet in the air, virtually 100% would go to vapor before it reached the ground. If it plugged, it would be easy to lower the pole to clean the nozzle Thoughts?

Bad idea... The water would go to vapor yes. The rest of the stuff in the water would not and would fall as a very fine "dust" of grey water junk for everyone to inhale. :shock:

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Postby JungleJim » Fri Jun 17, 2011 2:05 pm

I was figuring on doing a 10 micron particle, then charcoal filter, and only shower water, but you might be right. Last year I just hauled my wast water home, but I am going for a month this year and that is too much. Back to Evap. If I do a pond, what about raising one end to give an angle so it never has any depth, then using a little solar pump in a sump to send it to the top. Seems to me that the heat of the black plastic might be more efficient than the open wire-mesh or burlap tower. Thanks for the input.
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Postby illy dilly » Fri Jun 17, 2011 3:13 pm

The idea I'm going for is increased surface area and exposure to air flow. Which I believe is the idea of the open wire mesh as well. That the water runs down it and is exposed to more dry air creating more evaporation.

Not necessarily increased heat. It probably would help to circulate the water, and run it over the black plastic.
How big is your shower? How many folks are going to be showering?
In my camp, 'bathing' water has never contributed a larger portion of the gray water than dish water. But we also don't really take full on showers.

Are you part of DPW?
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Postby JungleJim » Fri Jun 17, 2011 3:52 pm

While I am here, thought I would mention another idea. I go to Costco and for less than $20 you can buy a package of 60 white terrycloth wash cloths. I buy 2-3 packs. twice a day I wet one with soapy water and wash my bod. Rise it, and then yourself. Toss it in the dirty laundry and when you get home, you have a lot of cleaning rags or washcloths. The trick is to use a fresh one each time - it is truly amazing how well it works, and how little water you use... It works soooo well!!
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Postby illy dilly » Sat Jun 18, 2011 8:01 am

YES!
This is an awesome idea! Disposable wash clothes! IF one is soooo nasty it needs to be burned, screw it, it was like 30 cents!
If it is the clean your self today, clean the kitchen tomorrow towel, even better!
I've always just used baby wipes to start, get the major filth off. Then spray bottle and towel.

Disposable towels! Yet again, the super obvious escaped me!!!
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Postby JungleJim » Sat Jun 18, 2011 9:19 am

illy, I only have a shower in my bus and not more than a couple people using it - really not a big event and not more than 10 gallons a day, I just hate the mess and smell that comes from normal ponds. Black plastic in the sun gets super hot so the evaporation rate is going to be really high, and if the water never gets deep, like a normal pond, I have to think it would be far more efficient. Best of both worlds might be black wire mesh in your design! Lots of air circulation and hot too.
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Postby capjbadger » Sat Jun 18, 2011 12:10 pm

Hmmm... you've got me thinking now JungleJim. Best of both worlds. High temp from black plastic, high surface area for evaporation from the hardware cloth mesh...

Build one of those "waterfall/hardware cloth" style evaps, but the water that's pumped to the top, run it through some coils of black plastic tubing first like they do with solar pool heaters.
Image
Grey water comes out pipping hot and then has maximum surface area to vaporize on the hardware cloth mesh. :)

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Postby illy dilly » Mon Jun 20, 2011 10:42 am

Yep, I'm digging the idea as well.
Get is super hot and maximum surface area.
Couldn't be better.

We're planning to use some sort of fabric instead of the wire mesh design, but same basic theory is there.
And you can get solar pumps for around 20-30 bucks. That way you don't have to worry about running electricity out to the evap pond.
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Postby JungleJim » Mon Jun 20, 2011 7:37 pm

Now that is one nice coil heater! Sitting on top of a mesh drip, it would kick butt! Love it... might be time to start building!
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Postby JungleJim » Sun Jun 26, 2011 7:38 am

What about making the coil of black tubing around the mesh, or in place of the mesh? Let the hot water drip down over the coils?
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Postby capjbadger » Sun Jun 26, 2011 11:42 pm

JungleJim wrote:What about making the coil of black tubing around the mesh, or in place of the mesh? Let the hot water drip down over the coils?

You need the mesh for the surface area. Evap only happens at the surface.

And wrapping the tubing around the mesh means that part of the tubing is always in the shade.

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Re: Playa Tested Greywater Evaporator

Postby JDCookMS » Tue Jan 10, 2012 3:43 pm

These are some really amazing ideas... is an evaporator needed if you only have a small group? Also, are there any other ideas/designs that have come up recently?
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