I promised a while back to show you our artificial wetland. This is how we process our gray water. We got the idea from a book called Healing Appalachia, which is a fantastic resource for folks living in our part of the country.
In the book was an idea for a gray water treatment system that would process your waste water - the kind you get from washing yourself or your dishes or whatever. (This is not what is referred to as "Black Water" which is something all together different - and is handled with the composting toilet system.) This system filtered the water so by the time it made it back into the environment it was clean again.
We used the idea from the book, and some other resources, and modified it to fit our land and our overall design. We still use the right types of rocks to act as the filtration source but we created a system that worked for us.
Also, we do only use biodegradable soaps and shampoos in our house, which makes the process a lot better overall.
The small pot sitting on the rocks has small drainage holes in the bottom. We pour the gray water (which is collected in a bucket that hangs under the drain from the house) into that pot and it slowly drains into the largest of the green pots. From there, the water drains through layers of pumice, pea gravel, and drainage rocks through the rigid gray tube to the next size pot. It goes through the same layers there and then into the third before draining into the plants on the edge of our tumbleweed house clearing.