ecover for greywater?

Discussion in 'Planting, growing, nurturing Plants' started by dekel, Aug 27, 2014.

  1. dekel

    dekel Junior Member

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    does ecover's dishwasher tablets and washing machine liquid can be used in greywater sytem?
    the only answer i got from them was that they have the diamond test or something.
    anyone have experience on the subject?
     
  2. Bryant RedHawk

    Bryant RedHawk Junior Member

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    Their site says their products are 100% biodegradable, that means they would be safe for gray water reuse systems.
     
  3. sweetpea

    sweetpea Junior Member

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    Once I looked up what rules/laws there were for claiming something was biodegradable. Turns out, in the US there are very few regulations about it. There may still be ingredients in all sorts of things we don't want in our grey water, especially if it's going into our vegetables that have high water content, like tomatoes, squash, lettuce, etc.

    Your best bet is to read the label, look up everything on it and see how long it takes for each thing to break down. See what it breaks down into. Sometimes what it breaks down into is not desirable. It takes a little work, but you will see ingredients repeating over and over again and figuring it out will get easier.

    One example, I use Washing Soda to wash clothes in. And while it's not a toxic substance, it's highly alkaline, and can cause all kinds of problems for plants and existing trees, especially in a drought.

    Ecover is really hiding the specific ingredients for each product, although there is a list of their general ingredients. I think in the US that's not allowed. And when I went through the FAQ section, there was a link that said their Ingredients were Here, and it was a dead link. They do use hydrogen peroxide in their bleach, and I sure wouldn't want that in my septic tank, even though it will eventually break down. So just because an ingredient breaks down, it really is about the time it takes to break it down. If hydrogen peroxide takes a week to break down, (totally guessing, and it would have to be under perfect circumstances, BTW) it's not a good idea to dump it at the base of a tree and assume by the time it gets to the roots it will be okay.

    Almost everything breaks down eventually, but it may not be in our lifetimes!
     
  4. Bryant RedHawk

    Bryant RedHawk Junior Member

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    l stand corrected to a point. however, the following might be of interest.

    https://toxics.usgs.gov/highlights/detergents_streams.html and https://www.manilaspeak.com/benny-tuazon/hooray-we-now-have-phosphate-free-detergents/ Indicate that the phosphate free products made by ecover are regulated more by the laws of Belgium than those of the USA.

    I agree with you that it is hard to pin down the exact ingredients they use but that does not in and of itself mean they are unsuitable for grey water systems.

    My own grey water system filters the water three times before it heads to any part of the garden. While I have not done a chemical analysis of the end product, I have not noticed any adverse effects on the plants the gray water is used on. I will be doing a full chemical analysis next year when we have lettuces and other food stuffs using the system. This year was dedicated to cover crops to chop and drop.
     
  5. sweetpea

    sweetpea Junior Member

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    I am surprised at some of their ingredients on their Ingredient List. I stopped using anything with laureth or lauryl in it years ago.

    Sodium Laureth Sulfate: "The Cosmetic, Toiletry and Fragrance Association discourage SLES for prolonged use, unless in extremely low concentrations. According to a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency study, sodium laureth sulfate applied above a 5 percent concentration produced severe irritation, hair loss and death in laboratory animals."

    "1,4-Dioxane Contamination

    The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics maintains that sodium laureth sulfate requires processing with other chemicals to reduce harshness. Ethylene oxide applied to SLES can result in 1,4-dioxane--a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency known carcinogen"

    https://www.livestrong.com/article/159171-the-disadvantages-of-sodium-laureth-sulfate/

    --------------

    Sodium Lauryl Sulfate

    https://www.livestrong.com/article/174367-dangers-of-sodium-lauryl-sulfate/

    "According to the Environmental Working Group's Skin Deep Cosmetic Safety Database, SLS is a "moderate hazard" that has been linked to cancer, neurotoxicity, organ toxicity, skin irritation and endocrine disruption."

    ---------------

    EDTA "EDTA is in such widespread use that questions have been raised whether it is a persistent organic pollutant. While EDTA serves many positive functions in different industrial, pharmaceutical and other avenues, the longevity of EDTA can pose serious issues in the environment. The degradation of EDTA is slow. It mainly occurs abiotically in the presence of sunlight."

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethylenediaminetetraacetic_acid


    When you start looking at the specifics, their list isn't quite as happy and cheerful as they want it to be. And if something biodegrades in 10 years, is that what you had in mind?

    :)
     
  6. Bryant RedHawk

    Bryant RedHawk Junior Member

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    I again stand corrected. Sadly, this information doesn't really surprise me either. I've accepted the fact that I must make my own cleaners just to keep away from things that are not good for us. I raise all my own foods now for the same reason, you just can not trust any corporation to give a dang about what it puts on the market. I am in total agreement with your assessments. We are on the same side, I was not fully informed on this company.

    We try very hard to use as little "out side" water as possible so we do all we can to use as much collected water as we can. Currently we can hold 525 gal. of rain water but that will double during this winter and then double again next year. We reuse all our gray water and since we are on a septic system, we try to make sure even that effluent isn't harmful when it goes through the leach lines (Chemistry, Biology and Horticulture were my majors/minor in college, quite handy now a days).
     
  7. Bryant RedHawk

    Bryant RedHawk Junior Member

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    To get rid of EDTA you need a glass pipe system with reflecting material underneath ( a mirrored surface) We did one of these in Arizona (the sun factor) with @ 1/4 mile of 3 inch glass pipe run over a polished stainless steel v channel back in 1969 thru the early 1970's.
     

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