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Simple Grey Water Recycling Tips

Simple Grey Water Recycling Tips

Simple grey water recycling is where you direct used household water to your garden. There are no holding tanks requiring treatment and the water is broadly distributed immediately. The most important consideration with grey water is remembering that what goes down the drain is exactly what comes out the other end and onto your garden. 

Kitchen water is used during food preparation, and to wash dishes so is generally fine going straight onto your garden. Just bear in mind that if you are sending boiling water down the drain and into your garden, you might want to let it cool off first. You also need to be using biodegradable soap and not pouring large amounts of oil or any kind of chemical down your drain. 

Water from the shower and your laundry is probably a little more predictable as it isn't subject to the variability of food products, but if you are employed as an auto mechanic and your clothing is covered with oily grease, you might want to reconsider using the water in your garden. 

It is better to have the water immediately distributed throughout the garden rather than dumped into one spot. If your soil is sandy, the water will sink into the ground and disappear rather quickly. If it is rich and loamy, however, the water will sit where it falls and turn the ground to mud. You need to move the water to where it is needed.

Outlets from the kitchen and from the washing machine can be hooked up to receiving vessel and then on to some sort of drip irrigation system. A drip irrigation system is preferable to a spray system as it limits the chances of transferring any microbes in the water.

All of this requires a bit of thought and planning, but the result is a miniature ecosystem in your back yard, one in which waste is minimized and the natural cycles of the earth are allowed to function.

Something incorrect here? Suggest an update below:
Recycle Editor

I am pretty sure that Water Wally works online. Someone like him, who can give you a plan to work to might be best, especially if you are in a hard to get to location. Tuesday, 27 August 2019

Simone N

I want to implement a great water management system on my property from water capture (tanks) to a wetland (retention and cleaning of water and encouraging biodiversity) as well as a grey water system but I have not had any luck yet finding a specialist that can help us with a great overall design. All I've found is individual suppliers in fragments (i.e. someone who does water tanks). Can you help us in taking action? Monday, 26 August 2019
Science Notes
Apart from rainwater, there are four places that household water comes from: kitchen, laundry, shower and biological waste disposal.

The first three are relatively straightforward with a little planning. Biological waste is another matter and requires a more complex infrastructure.

You can DIY with research or talk to someone like Water Wally.
Related Tip
If you aren't ready to divert your plumbing just yet, you can still recycle quite a lot of your household water by catching shower water in a bucket, sink water in a basin and consciously throwing the water from large vessels you clean out onto your garden instead of letting the water drain down the sink.

See also: Grow a Herb Garden with Saved Kitchen Water