Learn everything you need to know about recycling your greywater at home. From different treatment systems to Council requirements, find out how to install and use greywater safely on your property.
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Greywater is the wastewater from your shower, bath, spa, hand basins, laundry tub, washing machine, dishwasher and kitchen sink. It doesn't include water from toilets, urinals or bidets.
Greywater can be used instead of drinking water to irrigate gardens or lawns and, if treated appropriately, it can be used in toilets and washing machines. By using greywater for irrigation alone, a household can save between 50,000 and 100,000 litres of drinking water a year.
Three ways to reuse greywater:
Example of a simple greywater treatment system suitable for domestic housing
Council recommends you consider all water efficiency measures and rainwater harvesting options before investigating greywater reuse. It may be that you can adequately provide for your family's water needs without the use of greywater, particularly if your property is small. In order to assess your family's current water use and how much greywater your home actually produces it is helpful to conduct a water audit.
Reusing greywater sensibly can be costly as systems must be designed, installed and maintained in a manner which protects public health and is ecologically sustainable. Such costs may be better directed, in the first instance, to items such as water conservation devices and rainwater tanks which have less environmental and public health impacts.
All forms of household wastewater have the potential to be infectious to human health and pollute our waterways and soils. The Department of Energy Utilities and Sustainability has investigated the risks of greywater reuse and has developed the NSW Guidelines for Greywater Reuse in Sewered, Single Household Residential Premises. Follow these guidelines when installing and using a greywater system to protect the health of your family, community and the environment. All greywater systems require ongoing monitoring and maintenance.
Most original soils in the Marrickville are clay based which means that water is absorbed quite slowly. As chemicals in greywater often decrease the rate of absorption it is important that Marrickville residents do not apply greywater too quickly as it may run off the garden surface and enter stormwater drains.
Contact Council's Water and Catchments Coordinator or phone 9335 2104 for more information.