Greywater can and should be recycled wherever possible. A golden rule for gray water recycling is never to store in for longer than 24 hours in a water tank or holding receptacle. The article below outlines some more safety tips.
Grey water recycling is one of the new technologies catching on. It utilizes household waste water obtained from kitchen activities, as well as bath tub and shower usage. Waste water from toilets, known as black water, is not utilized in recycling grey water. Grey water decomposes very quickly. If stored for even just a day, the bacteria in the water utilize all the oxygen, making the water anaerobic. The water then becomes septic and a health hazard. Some safety tips for grey water recycling are given below.
Quality of Grey Water Utilized
It is important that the grey water used in recycling is fairly clean. Depending on the laundry and bath water usage, some grey water may actually contain a higher level of contaminants. Laundering of diapers can yield fairly contaminated waters. So can waters used for bathing by a person with an infectious disease. Such grey waters should be diverted to the septic system or a sewer.
Quick Recycling Action
Biological water purification guarantees the safest handling of grey water. It is best to introduce grey water directly to the top soil layer. This soil is biologically active and contains bacteria that can disintegrate the water. The resulting nutrients can then be made available to plants. Biological water purification has a higher efficacy than engineered treatments. It also protects both the surface waters, as well as ground waters.
Do Not Store Grey Water
Grey water must be utilized within 24 hours. If not, it allows bacteria in the water an opportunity to multiply. Due to the bacterial action in the water, beyond 24 hours grey water can no longer be safe for recycling. It turns into black water.
Have a Properly Designed System
A poorly designed recycling system could easily become a channel for infecting humans. Infectious organisms may occur in grey water, hence it is vital that the recycling system is effective. There should be no contact between the grey water and humans before the purification process. The water should not pass through a mulch basin. For natural purification to occur, it is important that the grey water slowly filters through the healthy top soil.
Avoid Consumption or Contact
Connections between fresh water supplies and groundwater plumbing must be prevented. This will prevent the two water sources from mixing together. It is best to wear protective gloves when working in grey water sites. Wash your hands thoroughly after all work done concerning grey water. It is a good idea to label all grey water plumbing systems in your property. This will help avoid accidental contact with grey water.
Since grey water ends up forming a vital part of the groundwater supplies, quality matters. Eventually, the water is utilized by plants on the landscape, some of which are cultivated for edible purposes. Great care must be taken to keep chemical presence in the water at minimal levels. Be careful when buying household cleaning products. Choose only those which you’re certain will not eventually contaminate the recycled water. Should you detect the presence of chemical contaminants in the water, it is best to divert it to the sewer system.
Source: Do it yourself
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