Grey Water- Not Drinking Water- On Your Garden
by John Payne, Founder
of Enviro Friendly World
average home can reduce their water consumption by around 30% by
re-using grey water on their garden.
are compelling. Sure, they vary from household to household, but
they go something like this…
average household on a suburban block consumes some 300,000 litres
of water a year- all of it drinking-quality water from the tap.
one-third, or 100,000 litres a year, is used on gardens and lawns.
means that around 200,000 litres get used in the home.
all of that (lets say 180,000 litres) leaves the home, and the block,
as waste water.
here’s the fun part. According to one major water body (Sydney
Water), approximately 60% of that is re-usable grey water. That
includes water from the bathroom and laundry, but does not include
black water from the toilet, or water from the kitchen.
of 180,000 is just over 100,000 litres.
have we heard that number before? Oh, yes, that’s the same
100,000 litres we put on the garden and lawns!
we said, the figures are compelling. The question is, how do we
do it in practice? Where do we find a product to take advantage
of this free water, worth about $100 at today’s low
start by excluding a few options from the discussion. At the bottom
end of the scale, we’ll exclude bucketing water from the house,
and gravity feeding a hose from the washing machine. Cheap, but
time consuming, and limited in application. We’ll also exclude
waste/grey water treatment systems that cost many thousands of dollars.
that’s what the product we’re seeking isn’t.
What would the ideal product be? It would
- be able to
accept water from both bathroom and/or laundry.
pump water to the garden.
- pump itself
out every 24 hours to meet the requirements of health and environment
a price of under $1000.
is now such a product on the Australian market, called the eco-Care
Grey Water Diverter System. Visit our website, and you can read
more about it, and other Grey
We need to think
about how we use grey water to get the best results, and avoid problems.
A few points worth considering…
Use grey water sub-surface.
Don’t use grey water near edible parts of fruit or vegetables.
use grey water containing lint and hair with fine-pore soaker hoses.
water is alkaline, so don’t drown acid-loving plants in it.
Choose less aggressive detergents, and you can use the water on
Read the detergent
lab report at our site to help you choose.
Don’t let grey water flow from your property to a neighbour's
actively involved in the use and maintenance of your equipment
these few sensible guidelines, and you may be able to reduce YOUR
water consumption by around 30%, saving money, and the environment.
tanks, you ask? It’s a whole different subject, but I’d
answer you this way…”They’re great, but use that
high-quality rainwater inside the house, where we can’t
really use grey water.”
© John Payne 2004
John Payne is the Founder of Enviro Friendly World. He was previously General Manager of a biological
wastewater treatment company, and worked at Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve
in Canberra, Australia. John has successfully operated many businesses
in a 40-year career, and has a life-long interest in science and
nature. You are welcome to reprint this article or link to it. If
reprinting, please use it as above, complete with links and author
detail, and drop us an email telling us where it is located.
Enviro Friendly World
today on 02 6282 6266, and find out how re-using grey water can
"Save water, save energy, save
money, and save the environment."
For enviro-friendly tips and news, be
sure to and please, tell your friends about us!
information provided in good faith- E&OE
Services by Underdog Marketing
Address Only: 13 Finnerty Place, Kambah (Canberra) ACT 2902 Australia