In Summer 2017 we installed an outdoor shower, outdoor sink, and a two zone two grey water system to┬ádistribute the drain water from these two plumbing fixtures to our vegetable gardens. The incoming water, which comes from our well, is heated by an inexpensive (about $75), homemade, solar collector, which raises the temperature of the incoming water from the temperature of the earth, which is about 60 degrees F in the summer, to almost 120 degrees F — much hotter than needed for showering. (For comparison, a typical hot tub’s water is kept about 105 degrees F.) So, like a normal shower, it is equipped with cold water and a mixing valve to adjust the temperature to a comfortable level.

The solar collector is constructed of a coiled 1.25 inch polyethylene pipe totaling about 100 feet in length. It is is quite lightweight and is supported directly on a rooftop right above the shower. It quite effectively heats the cold water.

Once the shower was installed it got enthusiastic use from multiple residents taking advantage of the chlorine free hot water, and the bright and sunny outdoor location. Due to the thermometers we installed we were able to note the temperature of the hot water reaching the shower. A water meter also allowed users to gauge how much water they used for the shower.

Our installation was perfectly timed to coincide with a professional grey water installation workshop sponsored by Depave and led by grey water guru Laura Allen. The greywater installation received a permit from the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality.