Asked on Mar 6, 2012

I have a septic system and as many of you know I paint furniture and work from home. I can't rinse my brushes outside in

Donna McCrummenWoodbridge Environmental


winter and every time I rinse at the sink I envision gunky residue in my tank. How difficult (expensive) is it to install a gray water tank?
2 answers
  • I would suggest that you purchase large five gallon pails and use them to clean you brushes in. Put some hardware cloth over them to keep the doggie out and let the water evaporate. You can get quite a lot of cleanings this way. I would not worry to much about messing up the septic system, as most of the stuff your using is Latex paint which will dissolve with the great amount of water in the tank. Just be sure to push as much paint out of the brushes as you can. You cannot dump any chemicals down any drain so that is not even a concern. Those oil paints must be cleaned and the chemicals stored until hazard waste day where the fluids can be discarded. Also though it seems as though your putting a lot of paint into the septic when you clean them, its really not as much as you think. Your not a commercial company doing large volumes of cleaning so not so much of a concern anyway. A gray water tank is not what you want. You can dig a long trench about a foot down fill with gravel then put soil and grass over top. Then simply pump the paint laden water into this field. But to put in a gray field. Assuming the township would allow it, five or six thousand dollars once you get past the permits and all.

  • Donna McCrummen
    on Mar 7, 2012

    I'll try that bucket idea Bob. Actually most of the paint I use is chalk paint so I guess it's probably not even as bad as latex. I stay away from oils whenever I can.

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