Recycle greywater for your garden

In a world where water scarcity is an ever increasing problem, we should all try to conserve water by installing rain water tanks and recycling grey water. Just remember that gray water should not be stored in water tanks for longer than 24 hours as this would allow potentially harmful micro-organisms to multiply. Greywater recycling need not be complicated nor expensive, as the article below outlines.

gray water tanks

Greywater is wastewater from any household source other than toilets. Greywater makes up roughly 60% of household wastewater. A greywater recycling system uses water primarily from showers and bathtubs. It can also capture water from bathroom or wastewater from the utility sink and washing machine.

Wastewater that includes toilet waste is called black water. Because it contains fecal matter, black water is not safe for domestic recycling under any circumstances.

Some advantages of recycling greywater

  • Useful during periods of droughts or water shortage
  • Saves on your water bills
  • No wastage of water
  • Helps save useful plants and vegetables when the water supply is very low
  • Can be used for collecting and using rainwater

Create your own greywater recycling system

The simplest and cheapest greywater recycling system is to capture shower and bath water in a bucket and use it to flush a toilet. But take care never to fill the flush storage tank with greywater as it will start smelling and may clog the flushing mechanism. Another simple way is to collect the water from a washing machine in a tub by connecting the outlet to the tub, and using this water for the garden.

There are other, more expensive systems in the market. But with simple tools you can also create a recycling system at home or make a small model of it to display at the science fair or exhibition at school.

You will need a filter to collect any waste materials, 2 big buckets, drainage pipes, valves to control the flow of the water, a surge tank and a lever to control from which source the water is coming. You will also need a small garden in a wooden box. Make sure the plants you select are not vegetables or fruit plants. For the model you do not need not use a pump. Just make sure the source of greywater is higher than the drainpipes. Attach the filter or home made sieve to the top of one bucket.

Pour clean water in one bucket and greywater in the bucket with the sieve. Both buckets must be connected to the drainage system. But when water from one bucket flows through it the other must close. The valves will do this. When the bucket with greywater is full, open the valve to let the water flow through the drainpipe. Make sure the water does not collect at one place as it will then be a breeding ground for mosquitoes and also cause flooding. It should flow steadily on to the soil in the small garden.

Source: WWF
If  a more complex grey water system is planned, a water storage tank or barrel will be required. This is one aspect where high quality water tanks really count as cheap, inferior brands will not last very long. We recommend polyethylene water tanks made by JoJo Tanks in South Africa; click on the links below for more information.

JoJo Tanks South Africa offer a wide range of products such as plastic water tanks and chemical tanks to suit every household, business or agricultural need, including silo tanks and silo tank stands as well as other high quality JoJo Tanks products.  See JoJo Tanks’ VERTICAL TANKS, HORIZONTAL TANKS (transporter tanks), STEEL TANK STANDS and OTHER JOJO PRODUCTS and see JoJo Tanks’ NEW 6000 LITRE UNDERGROUND TANKSAlso see our FAQ and WATER TANK PRICES.

JoJo’s superior polyethylene plastic water tanks and steel water tank stands make JoJo Tanks the leaders in plastic water tank technology and the quality, affordability and 8-year guarantee on these water tanks make JoJo products one of the best choices in South Africa.  *All JoJo Tanks polyethylene tanks and products now carry a 8 year warranty (on tanks purchased on or after 1 July 2013)*  JoJo’s water tanks and chemical tanks come standard with a number of features that are often lacking on cheaper/inferior plastic tanks made by other companies in South Africa.

We are authorised JoJo Tanks dealers in South Africa and dispatch orders directly from JoJo Tank depots to save on transport costs. Full range of JoJo Tanks products and JoJo water tanks for sale.  CONTACT US for a quote on the right JoJo water tank or other JoJo product for you.  Special discounts are available on multiple orders of chemical tanks and water tanks and to our commercial and government customers. We can usually delivery tanks and tank stands free of charge to business/commercial addresses in South Africa.

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(15000 litre and 20000 litre JoJo vertical water tanks & chemical tanks are available on order directly from JoJo Tanks’ main factory)

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