Some great reasons to reuse greywater; remember never to store grey water in water tanks for more than 24 hours and use phosphate free laundry detergents. If greywater is stored in a water tank or drum for more than 24 hours, there is the risk that potentially harmful microorganisms could multiply. If using laundry greywater for irrigation, a phosphate-free, ‘gray water safe’ detergent will be much healthier for the plants.
Greywater is wastewater from your household that hasn’t been in contact with human waste. It comes from the bath, shower, bathroom sinks, and (laundry) washing machines. Many sources say that since wastewater from the kitchen sink and dishwasher can contain heavy loads of organic material, fats and caustic additives, they should be deemed as blackwater and not reused. Typically, 50-80% of household wastewater is greywater, and can be reused.
Many areas experience drought-like conditions in the hot summer months, which leads to water restrictions. With heavy watering restrictions, your water could be shut off at certain times of the day, or you could be fined if caught using water outdoors “unnecessarily.” By reusing greywater, you avoid this problem altogether. If you’re on city water, you’ll save loads of money on your water bill reusing your greywater. Likewise, you may save valuable resources if you’re on well water. Using greywater also reduces the strain on water treatment facilities. Reusing greywater is good for the environment and your wallet.
There are multiple ways you can harvest your greywater. It can be as simple as placing a plastic bucket under your bathroom sink to catch what goes down the drain, or as complex as a $10,000 greywater collection, filtration and pressurizing system. The more advanced the system you have, the more applications you can use the water for – some systems actually filter the water enough for consumption! If you’re good with solar power conversion, you could use solar energy to run a greywater filtration system and save up to 40,000 gallons of water a year. Reuse greywater from your washing machine, sinks, showers and tubs to irrigate your garden every day, even during water restrictions.
Many places in Europe, Australia and the United States that have adopted the International Plumbing Code (IPC) are already using greywater to flush toilets. The IPC protects public health and safety in buildings for all water and wastewater related design, installation and inspection by providing minimum safeguards for people at homes, schools and workplace. Check with your local Department of Public Works to see if your area is able to use greywater in toilets. Another way to reuse greywater, and probably the most common, is for plant irrigation. Do not apply greywater to crops that you will eat raw, such as strawberries, carrots or lettuce. For general health reasons, you might think twice about using greywater on any vegetables. Greywater is perfectly fine for fruit trees where the crop is far from the ground and there is little to no risk of direct contamination by contact with contaminated water. It is best to use greywater in a drip irrigation system instead of spraying directly onto plants.
Source: Survival at Home
There are many ways to use greywater but often a temporary storage drum or water tank will be needed for an average system. JoJo Tanks in South Africa manufacture a variety of types and sizes of polyethylene storage tanks. Click on the links below for more information about JoJo water tanks and other high quality JoJo Tanks products.
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