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Grey Water and Silt Pond Project – Parts 1 and 2

Part One

Phil Williams of takes you through a two-part video of him installing a grey water and silt pond project he has. He explains some of the issues and he talks through resolutions to making it work.

Phil was a conventional landscape contractor and designer for twelve years. He learned quite a bit about how to run equipment and how to manage a job, but the lack of sustainability of the industry was too much and he walked away.

Part Two

Phil was then a building analyst and energy auditor for awhile, before finding permaculture through organic gardening. He has since been studying permaculture for five years, practicing it on his farm, and he has completed two permaculture design courses.

Currently Phil is working with landscape contractors nationwide to help introduce them to permaculture design principles as well as taking local design and installation projects within an hour of Lebanon, Pennsylvania. His website is and on the WPN here.


  1. Greywater guru Art Lidwig advocates direct application of greywater. Is a reed bed system really needed for greywater?

  2. I wonder what others think about eating fish growing in water interacting with the ‘pond liner’ of the reed bed and silt trap, presumably with the risk of chemical leeching from the plastic.

  3. Would the reeds in the grey water pound need to be pruned/removed now and then (how often?) and what will you do with them? You talk about them accumulating “nasty” things but which “toxic” elements do you expect to be contained in a common grey water system? Are they so bad that you can’t compost the reeds afterwards?

  4. I don’t see how this is sustainable permaculture. Lots of plastic usage in the pond liners. I’m sure there is a better way than this.

    1. I would love to hear the better way. I’m not a huge fan of the EPDM liners. My larger ponds on my site are clay lined and mixed with bentonite clay. My soil is a loam, so not conducive to sealing. Trucking in clay was the next best option, but I decided against it, because these ponds were in a place that was hard to get the clay to, and I did not want to have grey water seep through the clay. ALL CLAY LINED ponds leak a little. Thanks for watching.

  5. ONE MISTAKE ON THE 2nd VIDEO. I used a reed canary grass and I plan to add cannas. Common reeds can actually puncture a liner, so don’t use those. Thanks for the catch, my friend from France.

  6. Really enjoy your videos Phil. Your channel is the first I’ve found on youtube in an analogous USDA zone.

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