Have you ever wondered, while washing your hands or doing the dishes, where all that water is flowing off to? Isn’t there some better way to save that water from getting wasted? If you are someone like us, who loves the planet and despises water wastage, we’re here to say – yes, it can be done! The water going down the drain (which can be repurposed and reused) is greywater. So, just turn off that faucet, and let’s find out how we can reuse grey water efficiently. But first…
What is grey water?
Grey water (or sullage, also known as gray water or greywater) refers to gently-used domestic wastewater from houses, offices, factories, etc., without fecal contamination. Generally, any water that’s drained from your house other than the washroom or toilet can be described as greywater. Few of the main sources of greywater from homes include sinks, showers, baths, washing machines, or dishwashers.
However, such water usually may contain traces of food, grease, hair, dirt, or certain cleaning products in your house. It also includes waste from sinks, showers, and washers that could otherwise end up in the sewer system. The waste can be filtered out of the grey water with the use of an activated charcoal filter. The grey water can then be reused for irrigation purposes or for free-flowing landscape features such as ponds and streams.
How to collect greywater?
There are a few simple methods of grey water collection that you can follow before you repurpose it for other grey water uses:
- Manually with a bucket and a jug, as it means minimum maintenance and no additional costs.
- Through piping which is a more complex system. It requires an automated connection between your drain pipe and the landscape, which could be your backyard or garden. This system uses plumbing between the laundry wastewater pipe and the lawn. The grey water is directed via underground piping into the yard or lawn, to water your plants or garden.
- An integrated sewage and piping system involves connecting the entire home’s plumbing to efficiently use greywater, which fills into a collection tank. These are the most expensive and the most maintenance-intensive, which need to be installed by professionals.
Grey water collection can be done using rain barrels or other containers and stored until needed. When irrigating plants with greywater, only use filtered water so that you don’t introduce harmful bacteria into your garden. You can also use grey water in gardens without fertilizers or pesticides; this will prevent any toxic chemicals from leaching into the soil or in your yards.
Benefits of using grey water
There a various reasons and benefits of using grey water. Let’s explore these benefits of greywater below:
To conserve fresh water
Greywater systems capture water from sinks, toilets, and bathtubs; this means less water is wasted in pipes to the treatment plant!
To cut down the load on sewage
To reduce the load on sewage systems by reusing water that would otherwise be flushed down the toilet. Greywater systems reduce the quantity of chemicals needed to clean wastewater before it goes into our waterways! By reusing greywater in your garden, you can keep it out of our sewer system.
To reduce chemical consumption
By using greywater in your garden, you will be reducing the amount of chemicals you are using on your plants and trees, which reduces the number of chemicals we use to treat wastewater. Greywater also works as a natural fertilizer; so it’s great for plants without the need to use synthetic fertilizers or herbicides!
To minimize energy consumption
Most greywater systems require no electricity, so they’re pretty eco-friendly. In addition, it helps reduce chemical and energy consumption by reducing the need for chlorine or bleach in your plumbing system at home.
To recharge our groundwater resources
Grey water use is also beneficial because it helps recharge our groundwater resources. You can filter out contaminants like chlorine or other harmful chemicals from the water before it recharges our aquifers. These groundwater resources can be used for irrigating with greywater from rainwater tanks or irrigation systems. Some greywater systems can also be used for flushing toilets.
To beautify landscapes
Greywater reuse also beautifies landscapes by recharging our groundwater resources with essential nutrients that plants need to grow, every season! You could use this to water your plants or trees and fill in bare patches around your house. If you don’t have access to natural watering sources (such as rain), reusing greywater is a great way to keep plants healthy and happy.
To filter water organically
Water from your shower or laundry is full of organic material. By removing bacteria and other contaminants during the process, you can filter water organically and reuse it as greywater. This organic material enters the soil and provides nutrients to plants.
To reuse essential nutrients
Greywater also contains essential nutrients such as potassium, nitrogen, and phosphorus. It provides such nutrients to plants in your garden by adding them directly to the soil. With greywater, we’re reusing nutrients that would otherwise go into our waterways or oceans, when sent straight down the drain!
To protect the environment
Greywater is a good choice for filtering organic waste because it contains naturally-occurring bacteria and other microorganisms that help to break down organic material in the water. These microorganisms help to remove dissolved organic contaminants like pesticides, herbicides, and pharmaceuticals from the water. Such chemicals are harmful to people and animals if they come into contact with them over time. By using greywater, you can ensure that these toxic substances are removed from your drinking water before it is used for drinking or cooking purposes.
To decrease water wastage
In addition to decreasing the water we use, greywater is also a great way to reduce household waste. Many people throw away food scraps and other organic matter in their garbage cans every week; this waste ends up in our waterways and can be harmful to wildlife if not disposed of properly. If you manage your waste at home properly, you will not need garbage collection or recycling services as much. You can even strive towards zero-waste living.
To save money
It’s a big saver! Greywater systems are a great way to reduce your water bill and save money on utilities.
And, of course, to strive towards a zero-waste lifestyle – the benefits of using greywater are numerous. We hope today’s article has given you an insight into what is greywater and how to repurpose it, the methods of grey water collection, and the many benefits of greywater. So join us to save our planet; become part of the solution by reusing greywater in an effort to going zero waste.