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, as these can contain heavy loads of organic material, fats and caustic additives.
Why Use Greywater?
Western 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.
How Can I Reuse Greywater?
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.
How much area do you need to have to make a difference:
The table below lists the expected volume in litres from each greywater source.
Irrigation Area required
2 or less
Our habits, our behaviours and life choices need to change!
There is an increasing awareness of the need to recyle and reduce waste; however,
there is also little evidence of any real desire in the community to reduce the level of
consumption. We all need to treat and recyle waste to prevent pollution, and to
conserve and reuse our limited resources.
Each of us needs to adopt reuse strategies for a sustainable future, or there won't be one...
In our newsletter All Things Water we will give a run down on the latest water
saving products on the market, plus advice from Dr Ross Mars concerning saving and
re-using rainwater and wastewater. Tips to keep your Raised Garden Beds thriving,
and we'll be advertising any sales for the month.