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8 Signs That Greywater Use Isn’t Right For Your Home

Updated on August 30, 2010

There are a lot of good reasons to use greywater. Benefits include that it saves you money, reduces water waste around the world and contributes to a healthier lifestyle around the home. Unfortunately, though, greywater use isn’t right for everyone. Whether it’s because of the person or the property, greywater can occasionally be more trouble than it’s worth. If you’re on the fence about greywater use then take a look at the following signs that it might not be right for you. If few or none of these signs apply to you then it’s probably a good idea to move forward with greywater use.

Signs that greywater use isn’t a good idea include:

1. There is not enough space to make use of greywater. People who live in small spaces with little or no access to yards may find that they can’t really make use of greywater. Most indoor greywater is best used for outdoor watering. If you live in an apartment or condo then you may have no real place to use your greywater. If you live too close to your neighbors and share a small yard then you may still have a problem.

2. It’s too difficult to access the drains of the home. In some cases the plumbing of the home is so difficult to access that setting up a greywater system would require an extensive home renovation. For example, your home’s plumbing might lie beneath a concrete foundation. There are definitely ways around this and there are inexpensive options for using at least some greywater in the home. People who are serious about greywater use shouldn’t let this fact steer them away from it entirely. However, if this is your situation and you lack the time or money to make the necessary home alterations then greywater use may not be right for you at this time.

3. The cost is high compared to the benefits. Problems with inaccessible drains are not the only reason that the use of greywater might be prohibitively expensive. There are other reasons, too. For example, if you are not planning to do a DIY installation then you may find that a professional installation is very expensive in your area. In the long run, you may still save money. However, if you aren’t going to get a large amount of reusable water from your greywater system then the benefits may not outweigh the costs. Research your options and look at your budget as you decide whether or not greywater systems are right for your home.

4. You live in a place that is wet and cold almost all of the time. There are some locations in the world that just don’t have much need for greywater. If you live in a place where it’s wet and rainy all of the time then you may find that you don’t actually water your landscape much and therefore don’t have a lot of need for extra greywater recycling. If you live in a place where it is very cold all of the time then you may face problems with greywater installations freezing up a lot. Again, there are work-arounds for these problems and greywater use may still be possible but it’s something to think carefully about.

5. You have soil that doesn’t make good use of greywater. In most cases, greywater is very good for gardens and other home landscaping. It is nutrient-rich and ends up producing a really great lush yard. However, this isn’t always the case. In some cases, the soil of an area is excessively permeable or excessively impermeable and just doesn’t make use of the greywater. You may be able to make adaptations so that the soil can utilize the greywater but it can be time-consuming and expensive in some areas.

6. You lack both time and money. A really great greywater system can be just as efficient and convenient as your current water system. However, a super convenient greywater system may be costly. It is more common for people to have slightly more inconvenient greywater systems that require them to invest some time and energy into moving the water from one spot to another for reuse in the home. If you lack both the money for a super convenient system and the time to deal with the inconveniences then greywater reuse might not be right for you.

7. You are particularly concerned about germs. The use of greywater in the home is healthy and safe. However, some people still have their own fears and worries about it. If you’re the kind of person who can’t stand a mess or odors in or around the home then you may be uncomfortable with the idea of reusing your home’s dirty water around the house. The fears are unfounded in terms of actual risk but people who have anxiety around germs may find that greywater use just makes them feel too upset for it to be worthwhile.

8. There are difficult legal issues to consider in your area. Some parts of the nation are very friendly to the use of greywater. In fact, sometimes you can get tax credits for greening your home with a greywater system. However, this isn’t the case everywhere. Some places have legal rules that prohibit or limit the installation of greywater systems in residential areas. And there may be rules imposed upon you by your homeowner’s association or landlord. This is something worth checking out before you get too involved in your greywater plans.


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  • DREAM ON profile image

    DREAM ON 7 years ago

    I think in time the systems they develop will become better.For now it is the beginning of some great improvements.

  • skgrao profile image

    S K G Rao. 7 years ago from Bangalore City - INDIA.

    Yes if its contaminated.