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Grey Water Systems

Grey water refers to waste water from the laundry, shower, bath or hand basins. With an average household producing more than 80,000 litres of grey water a year, it's no wonder people are starting to reuse this water in the garden, the washing machine or the toilet cistern.

Regulations

Grey water can be reused in most parts of Australia, but check with your local council for specific rules in your area. Piping untreated grey water directly onto the garden is illegal in some areas.


grey water irrigation

Direct diversion systems

This is the cheapest and simplest type of grey water system. Waste water is piped directly to the garden or lawn with a specially constructed piping system.

Because the grey water is untreated, water from a direct diversion systems can't be used in the home, and can usually only be used in the garden as part of a sub-surface (under the soil) irrigation system.


Grey water treatment systems

An accredited grey water treatment tank collects, stores and treats your wastewater using chemical, physical or biological processes.

Different systems provide different treatment qualities, so there might still be restrictions on what you can use the water for. The output of a cheap and simple system can only be used on the garden, but more advanced treatment tanks will let you use the water for flushing the toilet or washing clothes.

You generally need a permit from your local council to install a grey water treatment system. You'll also need the services of a licensed plumber.


Safety issues

Grey water can contain chemicals, pathogens and nutrients that are dangerous to humans and the environment. An accredited grey water treatment system will filter out most of the nasties but to be safe, you should never use recycled water on plants you will eat.

Untreated grey water can contain nutrients like phosphorous and nitrogen, which might affect the growth of your garden.

Grey water systems must be installed by a licensed plumber. Compare quotes on professional plumbers for grey water systems here.


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