Greywater is household wastewater that has not come into contact with toilet waste. It comes from the bath, shower, bathroom wash basins, washing machines, and laundry trough. Wastewater from the kitchen sink and dishwasher should not be reused in some areas, as these can contain heavy loads of organic material, fats and caustic additives.
The Biocell Greywater Treatment System is approved to recycle kitchen and dishwater water in some areas depending upon local council regulations.
Why Use Greywater?
Australia is experiencing water restrictions due to current drought conditions and the critically low levels of surface water storage. It is recognised that in times such as these many householders like to conserve water by reusing their greywater. This site will hopefully provide some guidance on how greywater can be reused for watering gardens, trees and lawns.
Greywater from the bath, laundry trough and hand basin is the most readily available sources of greywater that can be reused. By using a bucket, greywater can be collected and supplied to the garden and or lawn areas. Alternatively, a number of systems are now available which permit greywater to be spread through an interconnecting subsurface trench system to water your trees.
If the house is serviced by reticulated sewerage, it is important not to reuse all the greywater from the household. Some greywater is needed to help flush sewer pipes to prevent blockages.
Greywater re-use for garden irrigation should be encouraged in both urban and rural households. It utilises a valuable on-site resource, conserves precious drinking water and reduces the load on wastewater disposal systems. If applied appropriately to gardens, greywater re-use presents minimal health and environmental pollution risks.
The key to appropriate greywater re-use is user-awareness of the issues surrounding greywater. This website covers simple and complex greywater re-use systems, health risks with re-use, and potential environmental issues.
With increased greywater knowledge, permaculturists can play an important role in promoting the sensible re-use of this household ‘waste’ water.