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Create an Oasis With Greywater: Your Complete Guide to Choosing, Building and Using Greywater Systems [superseded by new edition] Paperback – February, 2000

4.4 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


"Ludwig is a water visionary...The most practical and complete presentation of the subject I have seen." -- Michael MacCaskey, Editor-in-Chief, National Gardening

"The best resource on greywater I have found. A must have for anyone designing or installing a greywater system. This thorough booklet presents almost every design variation on greywater systems, from the simplest to the most complex, and gives the pros, cons and approximate cost of each both in dollars and environmental terms. It also includes adaptations for freezing climates and other important design details." -- David Dobbs, Senior Contributing Editor, Harrowsmith Country Life

"The explanatory drawings are very clear pieces of art...An easy writing style makes this valuable information comfortable to use." -- Pat Hardy, Editor, Professional Association of Innkeepers Newsletter

"You'll be in deep greywater without this book." -- Jeff Oldham, Real Goods Head Technician

Product Details

  • Paperback: 155 pages
  • Publisher: Oasis Design; 2nd edition (February 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0964343304
  • ISBN-13: 978-0964343306
  • Product Dimensions: 0.2 x 8.5 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,005,156 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Art Ludwig's mission is to develop systems and share information for a higher quality of life with lower ecological impact.

Optimal, integrated design has been his day job since 1980. His specialty is complex, deep green integrated "systems of systems" for water, waste water, energy, shelter, transportation, etc.
He takes a serious, engineer's eye to developing simple, mostly DIY solutions that really work long term, which he publishes unpatented into the public domain.

At UC Berkeley, he developed the first laundry detergent biocompatible with plants and soil, and founded a successful manufacturing business to distribute it.
His top selling books Create an Oasis with Greywater, Water Storage, and his Laundry to Landscape DVD contain numerous original innovations, including the Branched Drain and Laundry to Landscape greywater systems.
His 500 page website, oasisdesign.net is top ranked for a wide range of topics.

Art has worked professionally on building codes in three states. He is in regular consultation with health, zoning and elected officials about sustainability policy.
His quantitative analysis of the health risks of greywater smoothed the way for more rational regulation of greywater in California, where he played a major role in the crafting of the new standards.
He dedicates approximately a thousand hours a year to public interest research and activism.
He lives with his family in a canyon above Santa Barbara in a deep green house surrounded by fruit trees.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A good friend owns a cabing in the mountains, but not enough land and too close to the river for a septic leach field. Her holding tank was costing her dearly to empty. I bought this book, and helped her install a grey water leach field that has worked great and saved her TONS of money each year!!! While she used to pump her 1000 gal holding tank every couple months at a cost of $500-600, she now pumps about once a year! No more pumping shower and sink water with the sewage!!!!
The info on testing soil porosity was a great help!
While the book is not a complete resource, it is close to it, and will definately get you started (I knew zip about grey-water systems when I bought it).
A couple suggestions I would add:
I used inverted, old 5-gallon buckets for "leach pots". They are dirt cheap (free, actually - just ask around and keep your eyes open) compared to purchased plastic pots, and have way more capacity.
To prevent possible smell from returning via the main line, I installed a trap and vented the above pots with much smaller sprinkler hose, which I returned to the house (in the same ditch) before venting to atmosphere.
Overall, I highly recommend this book.
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Format: Paperback
I have recently purchased two of the brillant publications on grewater recyling by Oasis Design books; Create an Oasis with Greywater and Branched Drain Greywater Systems. Art Ludwig has created in both books a clear, but completely detailed, explanation of the benefits and ease of setup of a more sustainable and logical recycling system for domestic, public and commercial greywater to suit every budget and dwelling. Both books are rich with diagrams and explain without unnecessarily complicated detail how the average building can be turned, with ease, from a water wasting design into a more logical, sustainable setup ideal for those wanting to see better use of our valuable water resources. Myths about hygiene, design and cost of convertion are debunked. Water wasted is money down the drain but with greywater recycling, as described so perfectly in these publications, we can all get true value and a greener garden from every drop. Both books are a must for every household.
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Format: Paperback
We came to most of Art's conclusions the hard way. If we had read his book four years ago we would have been spared several embarrassing moments. Like the day the empty surge tank popped up out of the ground after a heavy rain and cleaning the bilge pump so often before discovering the "panty hose filter system". These are issues that most authors don't care to become famous for writing about, but when you save your shallow well from the drought and discover the joy of having used your water twice, you come to believe that Art Ludwig deserves a special blessing for all of his hard work. A must read for everyone working to become independent from the ways of this present destructive world...In appreciation, ........ElectricSunDog
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Format: Paperback
Not only should you get this book: you should get your neighbors to get a copy too. Actually, I recommend that you also get the 2 companion books to "Create an Oasis": "Branched Drain Greywater Systems" and "Builder's Greywater Guide".
Art Ludwig obviously has both extensive knowledge of and experience with greywater systems. The substance of these volumes far surpasses anything that I've seen available in books or on the Internet. In fact, his presentation of greywater processing has made me reconsider the blackwater treatment system that I'm planning for a new house. I expect to save money that I would have spent on a post-treatment, aerobic unit that would seemingly have been ecologically responsible; but because of the technological overkill, ultimately that system would have defeated my altruistic environmental concerns.
At first, I was surprised at the short length of each of these books: about 50 pages each; but the sheer volume of information in each one puts other sources to shame. Each volume is very well written, being clear, amusing, and concise. I can't imagine improving these books, other than keeping the information updated with future editions.
I do hope that Art Ludwig writes at least one more book on the subject of greywater: one that is a direct argument to present to government regulators. Don't get me wrong; all of the information for addressing the concerns of regulators is contained in these books. I just don't believe that most regulators would take the time to sit down and examine the data and issues that Ludwig raises, so I'd love to see a book dedicated to the professional regulators. Then I'd buy a few copies to submit to them.
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