Businesses: Three tips for recycling your grey water

Businesses can incur large water bills; water conservation systems such as rainwater harvesting tanks and grey water recycling can save money, save water and help the environment. Check out the 3 tips below.

recycle greywater
It makes sense to turn on a tap when you need it, but using water that is good enough to drink for everyday processes like watering the garden and flushing the loo is cost-intensive and unnecessary.

Instead, businesses could use recycled grey water at a fraction of the cost. Here, we’ll look at what grey water is and three ways it can be used to save water and reduce costs.

What is grey water?

Grey water is non-industrial wastewater that is generated from everyday processes such as hand basins and other non-sewage water usage. It is normally slightly cloudy in appearance and must not be contaminated with organic matter, such as sewerage, or harsh chemicals to qualify as grey water.

Recycling grey water can help deliver both immediate and long-term cost and environmental benefits. Here are just a few examples of ways in which businesses can make their grey water work for them:

1. Toilet and urinal flushing

A common way of recycling grey water is to collect and direct wash off from hand basins to fill toilet and urinal cisterns. Most users will not notice or be offended by this, but it can also be used as an opportunity to educate staff and visitors about the company’s wider water management programme.

For larger buildings where there are multiple floors and restroom facilities, this could represent significant cost savings while helping increase water efficiency. But even for organisations with as little as one toilet, this simple change can make a positive impact on water bills.

2. Watering the plants

If your business is surrounded by acres of gardens, or if just has a few pot plants for greenery, consider re-using some of your grey water for drip irrigation.

Drip irrigation, where a drip appliance is placed into the soil around the plant to give water direct access to the roots, is a cost-effective, accurate and environmentally friendly way of watering vegetation. It is important to note that fresh water is needed for any farming crops intended to yield food.

You can enhance the positive environmental impact of using drip irrigation by recycling grey water to irrigate lawns, flowerbeds and inside pot plants.

3. Industrial cleaning

A fair amount of grey water is normally wash off from hand basins and washing machines already, so why not make this water work twice as hard?

Grey water can be recycled for use in industrial washing machines and equipment such as those used for rinsing factory floors or corporate car fleets. It can also be used to clear muddy walkways and give a clean appearance to fences and other large items that require a clean.

Source: 2DegreesCommunity by John Morgan (Abbrev.)

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