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Water Storage - How to recycle Greywater

Updated on May 17, 2015
Greywater recycling - a typical System
Greywater recycling - a typical System

You might think that it is not worth doing anything with your Greywater, just let it flush down the pipes. Alright then first of all lets consider just how much water we are talking about, I'm sure in the end you will see my reasoning.
From my research I have found that the average amount of water consumed by the average household located on a normal suburban size block is approximately 300,000 litres per year of drinking quality water coming via the water mains.
This is broken up thus:
100,000 litres a year is used on lawns and gardens etc
200,000 litres a year is used somewhere else in the home.(not including blackwater from the toilet or Kitchen Sink.

Of the 200,000 litres, it is estimated that up to 60% of that water leaves the house as what could be usable greywater. So that is about 120,000 litres of water per year gets wasted by you and costs money to be transported away from your house and treated elsewhere.

Greywater equals Garden Water

The funny thing is, if you check the above figures, that amount of water would be more than enough to water all of the average garden and lawn, and after the initial installation it would virtually cost you nothing for this water.

Depending on the cost of your water you can see that if you take the amount of water you save out of your water bill it would be quite a saving in your hip pocket. After the initial installation is amotized of course :-)

If I have convinced you to do some more thinking about your greywater please read on!

If not "Goodbye" ! You will be wasting your time reading any further I may see you on another Hub :-)
For those of my readers still interested in the subject matter here are some points to ponder:

  • You should use greywater underground. We must look after our kids and animal life don't we?
  • Do not put greywater on the edible parts of vegetables ( see last point)
  • If you are going to use greywater through 'soaker hoses' makes sure there are filters fitted before the 'soaker hose' (removes any lint and hair).
  • As the greywater will more than likely be 'alkaline' don't use near 'acid' loving plants.

Very Important Points:

  • Don't let your greywater flow onto your neighbors property (very poor form).
  • Make sure that the correct detergent and softener is used in the washing Machine.
  • Any equipment fitted to control greywater must be kept well maintained to avoid any spread of any 'nasties'


Warning (please read and take very seriously)

  • For health reasons Greywater must never be kept stored in Tanks.
  • Never put Greywater in with  other collected rainwater.

Most authorities have regulations stating that Greywater must not be stored for more than 24 hours and must be disbursed throughout the garden via the sub-surface (underground).


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    • profile image

      Alje van Hoorn 7 years ago

      No greywater on edible plants?

      We've been using greywater in our vegitable patch for years and have not had a single problem. Salads, tomatoes, carots, you name it all taste the same whether I've irrigated them with greywater or freshwater. I believe it's just a mental hangup that many people have with using greywater.

      I do rinse off all my edible fruit and veg before I eat them!

    • agvulpes profile image

      Peter 7 years ago from Australia

      Tina I have had a look at your Hub and I love the Rain Chains. My friends living in the bush have a galvanized chain hanging from the guttering and the other end into a large drum. The water runs down the chain and fills the drum. They are a nice piece of garden ornament the way you show on your hub.

      Feel free to link to my page thankyou for dropping by!

    • Granny's House profile image

      Granny's House 7 years ago from Older and Hopefully Wiser Time

      agvulpes, I did a hub on water conservation. Using rain chains is a great way to catch rain water and reuse in your flower gardes and veggie garden. Please check it out and let me knopw what you think. Also, I would like to link to your page.

      Thanks Tina

    • agvulpes profile image

      Peter 7 years ago from Australia

      Dolores, hi there:-)

      I think if you look at this problem realistically, toxoplasmosis is with us on a daily basis, greywater or not, and we have a risk of picking it up! We don't pick it up because we (hopefully) carry out good hygienic practices!

      Such as washing hands after toilet use , washing hands when handling food, washing veggies and fruit from the garden etc..

      Now if we carry out the same practices when we are using Greywater there should not be any problems :-)

      Don't forget to put plenty of mulch around your plants in your dry spell. Over here we are in the middle of winter and getting much rain, our water tanks are full!

      You should train your Roses to handle dry spells, they are very hardy plants you know?

      Thanks for dropping by :-)

    • Dolores Monet profile image

      Dolores Monet 7 years ago from East Coast, United States

      The part about the toxoplasmosis is scary but I thought that using gray water was a common practice in dry areas. I sure have been using a lot of water. We are in a dry spell and it would be great to cut down on our water usage.

    • agvulpes profile image

      Peter 7 years ago from Australia

      dallas, thank you for reinforcing the health risks involved with using greywater. I possibly did not stress the dangers enough?

      I will put more information above into the Hub with some relevant links.

      Thanks a lot for adding to the discussion, we are all here to learn!

    • dallas93444 profile image

      Dallas W Thompson 7 years ago from Bakersfield, CA

      A concern is Toxoplasmosis, or T. gondii. It is a parasite that most of us have. It is the #1 cause of food caused deaths and #1 cause of birth defects. It lives in cats as part of its life cycle. Sewer plants do not eradicate T. gondii. It is in all warm blooded animals including sea creatures. It changes our behaviors. To treat grey water for garden use could spread the parasite. Obviously, if the grey water is treated with chlorine, or filtered thru mirco filters would eliminate T. gondii. It is a HUGE problem.

    • agvulpes profile image

      Peter 7 years ago from Australia

      Shalini I hope the plumber gave you a favorable report and thank YOU for dropping by and letting us all know!

    • Shalini Kagal profile image

      Shalini Kagal 7 years ago from India

      Yes, I agree - too often, we look at things from a rather complex viewpoint - this is so simple and it's great. I just had the plumber in to look at the piping so THANKS :)

    • agvulpes profile image

      Peter 7 years ago from Australia

      Shalini thank you for your kind comment! Sometimes the simple ideas turn out to be the best in the long run.

      Nothing too complicated. Not too expensive, Easy for people to understand.

      Most of all the ideas on how to recycle greywater are easy to implement :-)

    • Shalini Kagal profile image

      Shalini Kagal 7 years ago from India

      Great idea, agvulpes. It's been bothering me about the amount of water that we waste and I know we're fast depleting our groundwater sources. To use the water from just certain usable areas is something that just hadn't struck me! Thanks!

    • agvulpes profile image

      Peter 7 years ago from Australia

      jill of alltrades, thanks for your insightful comment!

      It's nice to know that people around the world are getting into the swing of how to recycle greywater :-)

    • jill of alltrades profile image

      jill of alltrades 7 years ago from Philippines

      Good ideas about grey water!

      You are right about how much water is wasted just being flushed down the drain.

      We do recycle grey water in our household. The last rinse is always used for either watering plants or for flushing.

      Great hub!

    • agvulpes profile image

      Peter 7 years ago from Australia

      twhite thanks for the great contribution with your comment.

      As you have noticed yourself it is surprising how well water can be filtered by using natural resources. We have a project going here in Melbourne where the water from the sewage treatment plants has been filtered and treated and fed out to all of the 'new housing' estates and put on tap for the use of gardening and car washing etc..

      Thanks again for dropping by :-)

    • profile image

      twhite94 7 years ago

      I am really into the green movement, so that is great information. The main reason I prefer the green movement is because it saves you so much money in the long run.

      I remember when I would do directional drilling. Well my job caused me to drill through some manholes, and the water running through there is surprisingly clear and clean. I thought, this surely could be used for something else. Just a thought.

    • agvulpes profile image

      Peter 7 years ago from Australia

      @Darlene, I do appreciate your kind words and it is great how the community here at HubPages supports each other!

      Thanks for the Thumbs up:-)

    • agvulpes profile image

      Peter 7 years ago from Australia

      @Zsuzsy, you appear to have the system nailed down pretty well (sorry about the pun)!

      We seem to be in a similar position to yourself as we do use what is referred to as a "triple interceptor" (grease trap). It is very interesting to know that you can keep your 1/4 acre block lush and green just with the usage of your Greywater!

      Well,if you did not have a well? you probably could not live where you live and would live some where else and you could be paying for your water, so in a way you are saving money? (I hope you understand my reasoning?)

      Zsuzsy thanks for dropping by and adding to the discussion on recycling greywater :-)

    • Darlene Sabella profile image

      Darlene Sabella 7 years ago from Hello, my name is Toast and Jam, I live in the forest with my dog named Sam ...

      Very informative and a great hub, and yes I agree with Zsuzsy Bee because you do give great advice...thumbs up

    • Zsuzsy Bee profile image

      Zsuzsy Bee 7 years ago from Ontario/Canada

      What a great savings in water resources this would be if every one would were to follow your tips. I have a 'small' septic system set up on the right side of the house for the grey water (with a grease trap). The Kitchen and backdoor sink, washing machine and the upstairs shower are all routed into this system. It keeps the small pasture (1/4 acre) lush and green even in the middle of the summer months. As the house is on well water there is no money savings but I'm doing my bit for the environment.

      Great hub as always

      regards Zsuzsy

    • agvulpes profile image

      Peter 7 years ago from Australia

      carolina muscle, thanks for the kind comment!

    • agvulpes profile image

      Peter 7 years ago from Australia

      Candie V, I do believe you are correct. I'm afraid that to most people it will be 'same old same old' let the 'others' worry about it! Thanks for dropping by and leaving a nice comment!

    • carolina muscle profile image

      carolina muscle 7 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

      Great idea!!!

    • Candie V profile image

      Candie V 7 years ago from Whereever there's wolves!! And Bikers!! Cummon Flash, We need an adventure!

      Ok.. Well if you haven't convinced anyone in your series, they're not really listening! Great hub on an obvious solution and an ecologically responsible lifestyle! Thanks ag!