I have a stupid question.

Originally, I have a washer that pumps out the grey water into a laundry tub / sink. Attached to the laundry tub is a pump that pumps that grey water from tub into the drain pipe above the basement. It has been working for a few years and it has been the way before I bought the house.

Recently, my laundry tub pump died. Since I already have a big sump hole in the basement floor with the sump pump connected to it. Would it make sense to simply pipe that grey water from the washer into the sump hole and have my sump pump takes it out to the backyard away from the house?

What's the upside and downside of doing that?

OR should I spent the money and replace the dead laundry pump?


2 Answers 2


Spend the money to replace the old Pump. When you are pumping the Laundry out to the yard - those chemicals in your detergent are also going to the Yard and into the water basin of your locality.

If you are outside of city provided water i.e on a well system - how do you feel about having chemicals such as phosphorous in your drinking water, shower water etc.. Of course perhaps you might glow in the dark when electrons hit you :-)

  • Laundry detergents no longer contain phosphorus. The larger issue is that gray water resembles diluted black water in composition. Apr 22, 2017 at 0:59
  • @user46207 - thanks for the update on the detergents. I still wouldn't expel the stuff on a lawn and also if he lives on a pond or lake - the chemicals of the detergent in the ground water might affect the aquatic life.
    – Ken
    Apr 23, 2017 at 19:27

Con: Local code might prohibit expelling grey water into the surface drainage of your yard.

The temperature, detergent, and bleach as well as heavier use might shorten the life of the sump pump.

The water might be so hot it kills the vegetation it immediately contacts. Detergent and bleach might also kill vegetation. To counteract the temperature problem some grey water systems have a cooling tank that the grey water empties into and then exits by overflow after a residence time for cooling.

The waste water from the clothes washer might have been keeping your drains flushed and free of clogs.

Pro: Most people wash in cold or warm water nowadays. The city might not care or might even promote greywater drainage into the yard under the right circumstances since it reduces the volume of water in the city sewers.

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