At Bohemian Stoneworks, like other concrete and stone shops, we use a good amount of water for many steps in our process. This includes mixing the concrete, powering our water-jet grinders, power-washing finishes and the shop’s cleanup process. Normally the disposal of this water can be costly and wasteful, especially for a small business. Being the environmentally as well as economically minded shop that we are, we figured we could decrease our waste and save money by engineering a filtered drainage system that treats and circulates the water in house.
When we are through washing down concrete or using the grinders, water collects on the floor and flows into a drainage well. A pump pushes the water through a series of “filter” bags – old concrete mix sacks – and the cleaner water drains out the bottom while sediment collects in the bags. This water then travels down a trough into a series of descending water buckets, where it’s triple filtered until its final destination at the last bucket. The same pump then takes the water back up and over through a network of pipes and allows us to use it all over the shop. Normally a professionally installed system like this would cost anywhere from $15,000 – $30,000, but we rigged ours up for just $500. Shows you what a little creative thinking will do!
We still have yet to find a use for the filled bags of sediment though; if you or anyone you know is interested in experimenting with this material let us know! We’d love to add another step to the cycle of reuse.