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Water storage - what is greywater

Updated on May 16, 2015

Many times I have been asked the question " what is greywater" ?

I will try my best to explain the term 'greywater' or as some people spell it 'graywater' as it is used in Australia!

One way of diverting greywater to the toilet cistern
One way of diverting greywater to the toilet cistern


In Australia any waste water that comes from domestic activities like the laundry washing machines, kitchen dishwashers, showers and baths is called 'greywater' and it can be recycled in the home, using approved methods.

Greywater can be used for watering the garden, and in wetlands using a filtering method.
It has been estimated through research that greywater makes up on average 65-70% of the waste water generated in domestic homes.

Water from toilets containing human waste is termed as Sewage and can not be used as greywater and has the very apt name of 'blackwater' indicating that it does in fact contain Human Waste!

In Melbourne where I live Treated Water from the Sewage treatment plants is now being piped to new housing estates and supplied along with the normal potable water to all new homes in the estate.

The treated water is supplied in purple colored pipes and can only be used for watering the garden and is not to be used inside the house or for drinking

Storing and Recycling greywater

The diagram shows how the water from the bathroom basin can be diverted, filtered and fed into the Toilet cistern saving hundreds of litres of potable water from being flushed down the toilet.

In other Hubs I will describe different methods in use for Storing and recycling Greywater.

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    • agvulpes profile imageAUTHOR

      Peter 

      8 years ago from Australia

      hypnodude, thanks for dropping by :-)

      Yes that last picture is actually available as a commercial item and I am seriously thinking of having one installed myself. When you consider how many times a family of 4 would flush a toilet, there is a lot of water to be saved.

      Thanks again for dropping by and leaving a nice comment :-)

    • hypnodude profile image

      Andrew 

      8 years ago from Italy

      Very interesting, especially the last picture. Thumbs up. :)

    • agvulpes profile imageAUTHOR

      Peter 

      8 years ago from Australia

      NewHorizons, thanks very much for dropping by and leaving a nice comment :-)

    • NewHorizons profile image

      Joseph Attard 

      8 years ago from Gozo, Malta, EU.

      Very interesting. I must find the time to read all your Hubs to implement some of your ideas for economic purposes. I am joining your followers too.

    • agvulpes profile imageAUTHOR

      Peter 

      8 years ago from Australia

      SweetiePie, thanks for your feed-back. I am not really an expert on lawns but I do know that you must be careful with the nutrients that go onto the grass. Too much can make it change color or worse still, kill it! You have seen what dogs urine can do to a lawn?

    • SweetiePie profile image

      SweetiePie 

      8 years ago from Southern California, USA

      The man who wrote the article says he recycles laundry water and filters it to water his lawn. I believe he uses all natural detergents as well.

    • agvulpes profile imageAUTHOR

      Peter 

      8 years ago from Australia

      Candie V, thank you for making me the 'greywater king' I will have to grow webbed feet to visit my subjects :-)

    • Candie V profile image

      Candie V 

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

      You are the 'greywater' king! Well explained!

    • agvulpes profile imageAUTHOR

      Peter 

      8 years ago from Australia

      Darlene Sabella, yes if only more people used their imagination. The more research I do on this subject is uncovering things that only a few years ago could never have been imagined. And in reverse ideas that were used thousands of years ago are now only just been found with new technology to be very feasible!

      Yes indeed Darlene , Go Green !!!

    • agvulpes profile imageAUTHOR

      Peter 

      8 years ago from Australia

      earnestshub, thanks for dropping by and leaving a kind word :-)

    • Darlene Sabella profile image

      Darlene Sabella 

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

      A really great article, there are so many things that can be done with our imaginations, some skill, and little cash, and save a lot of money and help our planet Earth. Go Green, this is great.

    • earnestshub profile image

      earnestshub 

      8 years ago from Melbourne Australia

      What is grey water and storing grey water are useful subjects to know about.

      Very informative and timely hub agvulpes.

    • agvulpes profile imageAUTHOR

      Peter 

      8 years ago from Australia

      SweetiePie thanks for that information. Recycling laundry water can be fraught with danger. I hope that this man you have mentioned is using all of the correct filtering?

      Thanks for dropping in and contributing to the discussion :-)

    • agvulpes profile imageAUTHOR

      Peter 

      8 years ago from Australia

      Cathi Sutton, thanks so much for your comment, I believe that you must be careful about storing 'greywater'. I will be talking more about that later!

      Thanks for dropping by :-)

    • SweetiePie profile image

      SweetiePie 

      8 years ago from Southern California, USA

      There is a guy who lives in the local mountains and wrote an article about recycling laundry water. Very interesting hub!

    • Cathi Sutton profile image

      Cathi Sutton 

      8 years ago

      Thanks for making folks aware of the greywater situation. I'm all for recycling water, and have installed a barrel to catch all my laundry water to apply to my garden! Keep up the good work! Great Hub!

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