simple grey water system

Simple Grey Water System

With an outdoor shower and an area for washing up dishes outside, we haven’t had much of a need for indoor plumbing.

With Winter approaching and a new kitchen sink awaiting, we needed a way to drain water from our tiny house and a grey water system was the easiest way to solve this.

A grey water system is the gentle recycling of wastewater from sinks, baths and appliances like washing machines.

Grey water does not include contaminated water or sewage, so it is safe to drain naturally back into the ground.


When I first built the floor frame and joists for the tiny house I made sure to drill holes and placement for drainage pipes as a future consideration.

Opening up the floor to get these areas was much easier having first planned out where water would go.

I first dug a trench for the grey water system drainage pipe.

For our zip code, one would normally go down at least 4 feet deep to protect pipes from freezing and cracking below the frost line.

Since this would only be for infrequent use, I started my depth at 2 feet and then went deeper so that the pipe would slope down grade.

Here I attached 1.5″ pipe to the outlet that leads outside the floor and through the decking.


Water Sources

Our tiny house does not have running water but we do capture rain water in 55 gallons barrels.

We get most of our drinking water from either bottled sources or other people’s wells.

The water used from the rain barrels is mostly for rinsing dishes and washing up.


Drainage hole

I took a five gallon bucket and drilled 1/2 inch holes all around the outside.

I then made an 1.5″ hole for the drain pipe entrance.

Here I did go down over 4 feet deep for the bucket.

I also lined the bottom of the hole with sand and small stones to help with drainage.

I covered the bucket with it’s plastic lid and on top of that I placed a flat board with two medium-sized stones.

I wanted to make sure I could easily dig it up if necessary at a later time.


Everything but the kitchen sink

Well, not anymore.

In this photo the sink is not yet hooked up, but you can see the pipe coming out of the floor.

After a few tests and teflon tape, I found that the line was leak free and working as expected.

For brushing our teeth and washing dishes, our little IKEA sink works well.

Our next water fixture will be moving the shower indoors.

I have a few ideas, but I haven’t yet decided or committed to which I like best.

I’m sure the answer will come to me eventually.

Stay tuned!




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