Our graywater drywell, which handles our washing machine and sinks, has come to the end of its life and no longer drains. Our options as presented to us are: dig and install a new drywell (~$5k); run a overflow pipe from the existing drywell over the hill behind our house (~$3k); tie the drywell into our existing septic system (no estimate). The last option is likely the cheapest, but I'm worried about the long term effects on the septic system and leach field if this is done.

Any input or advice would be helpful.

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    Do you have design specs for the existing leach field? They are usually sized based on soil conditions and number of bedrooms. Is it a gravity septic or pumped? I imagine you are in quite an older home as graywater separation isn't commonly done anymore. Commented May 20, 2020 at 15:58
  • I do not, unfortunately. The home was built in 1962 and it is gravity septic.
    – Rob Irwin
    Commented May 20, 2020 at 16:00
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    Have you checked with your County/City planning dept.? Sometimes they will have the design on record. Unlikely bc of the age, but maybe. I hate to say this on this DIY site, but soil conditions can vary widely in just a few miles (does here in the great PNW), as well as local septic regulations. In this case you'll probably want to work with a local expert. Commented May 20, 2020 at 16:04
  • Ok, that's a helpful tip. What about from just a purely philosophical standpoint: all options being equal, is it silly to remove the dry well?
    – Rob Irwin
    Commented May 20, 2020 at 16:06
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    I have no idea where you live or what's acceptable there, so I won't offer an opinion on that. Sorry, I don't have that expertise and really would hate to offer bad advice. Commented May 20, 2020 at 16:07

1 Answer 1


did you check for a clogged pipe? pipes from kitchens laundries and showers build up with grease hair and lint and unfortunately clean outs are not usually added to gray water lines like they are with septics.

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