Info & News
Re-Use Greywater And Cut Down On Waste
Written by Amanda from Ecostore
We might not give much thought to what happens to the water that flows down the drain when we use our washing machine, have a shower or empty the bathroom sink. But this water is actually safe to re-use in many cases and re-using it is a great way to save precious water resources and be kinder to the planet.
This waste water is called greywater and it can be re-used on flower gardens, lawns and trees, or even to flush the toilet. There are lots of benefits of re-using it, with the main ones being reducing demand on our water supply, conserving the water we use at home, and saving money.
In most developed countries, water supplied to households is of a drinkable standard, even though a very small proportion is used for drinking or food preparation. Re-using greywater is a great way to cut down on your freshwater use.
Re-using greywater also cuts the load on our water treatment plants – by doing this you can reduce your septic system’s flow and greatly extend its capacity and service life.
And by re-using this waste water you can lower your water bill because less will be pumped and treated. If you live in a more rural area, it will help prevent running out of water in the hotter months.
Environmental protection is another plus. Because greywater may contain pollutants, it can harm rivers and oceans it flows into. By capturing and re-using it, these pollutants aren’t deposited in waterways.
It’s important to re-use greywater safely and make sure you don’t use it for drinking, cooking, brushing your teeth or washing yourself in.
According to Smarter Homes, you should get expert advice from your local council before installing a re-use system, then ensure the system is properly maintained. The greywater should be placed under the soil rather than on top, and not used on plants you’ll eat, it says. The water should also be kept away from direct human contact and used within 24 hours if untreated.
You’ll also want to avoid greywater contaminants like fecal matter (if you’ve been washing nappies, for example), boron from cleaners, chlorine based bleach, and chlorinated swimming pool water.
Some laundry care products may also have ingredients that will make greywater unsafe for the environment because they aren’t biodegradable – these include optical brightening agents, defoamers and some silicones.
And it’s important to note that toilet waste water is black water and can’t be re-used.
To find companies that can help you set up grey water recycling search here.