Grey water recycling at home is one of the most efficient and cost-saving things you can do with water. Grey water is water that has been used, but does not hold bio contaminants or organisms. For example, the used water from a shower or washing machine counts as grey water, whereas water from dishwashing may not qualify and water used for sewage most certainly doesn’t. Water containing heavy chemicals may also not be grey water, though it depends on the chemicals used and what your plans are for the water.
Homes and businesses use an astounding amount of water, especially for background utilities such as toilets and for irrigating gardens. In both cases, as well as many others, grey water is useful and can safe you a lot on your bills.
Sounds good? Then get started by understanding these several benefits and risks to grey water recycling that you should consider.
Grey Water Recyling Benefits
Big savings on your water bill. We flush a lot of useful water down the drain. Whenever you use a toilet or do your laundry, a huge amount of water is piped in to replenish what you have used. But that can all be replaced by grey water and save a lot of money on utility bills.
Great for garden irrigation. The average household uses up to forty percent of its water just for the garden. Even if you live in a complex of flats or townhouses, some of your rates go toward keeping the complex gardens looking fresh and green. If grey water was used, the cost of irrigating a garden drops substantially, perhaps even completely.
Starting grey water recycling can be easy. Capturing grey water is not hard. It is as simple as placing a bucket in the shower with you, then spreading that water on plants. You can also send the runoff pipe from your laundry machine into a container. There are more elaborate water recycling systems for grey water, but you can start small and get your head around it without spending a scent.
Grey Water Recycling Risks
The use case is important. Why do you aim to recycle grey water? For example, if you want water for your vegetables, it must be treated or the plants can absorb chemicals and salt, but you can be less cautious it it’s to water other plants. Watering plants in open soil is also less demanding than watering plants in pots. Water from a bath of shower will contain fewer chemicals from something like a dishwasher. If you want to create drinking water, it has to be filtered. But if you need water to replenish your toilets, no treatment is required.
Watch the type and levels of chemicals. Grey water can be taken from detergent-heavy applications such as washing clothes. But those chemicals can be harmful to living things, such as plants. It is important that you check if these are suitable for plant life. There are detergents that were designed to be biologically safe. When you spread the greywater, avoid placing it directly on plants. Rather let the soil absorb it. If you believe the chemical levels are high, research ways to filter the water beforehand.
Storage is short-term. Grey water cannot be stored, not unless it is treated first. This is because it is uncertain what kind of biological matter is present in the water. These will quickly grow and spread once kept in a tank. Some types of detergents and chemicals can also encourage the growth of organic material such as algae. These can be poisonous, but at the least damage tanks and pipes.
Is Grey Water Recycling worth it? Absolutely, plus it is a smart addition when designing a new home, especially if you install long-term storage that won’t be inhibited by water restrictions, such as Calcamite’s grey water recycling systems.
But know why you want to recycle grey water and plan for it.