Sunday, July 19, 2009


The BATH spent the morning cleaning out the hose that drains from our shower onto the garden. He has to do this about every 12 months and you always know when it has to be done because the shower starts to drain reeeeeeally slooooooowly. The beauty of living in a house on stumps is that we have access to all the waste outlets and can redirect greywater onto the garden fairly easily. We have been doing this for about 7 years now. The greywater from the kids bathroom and the washing machine was initially redirected onto the garden via a Greywater Diverter. This worked in a limited fashion because there wasn't enough fall to take the water any distance. We replaced this with a small 50 litre surge tank and pump that automatically pumps the water onto the garden when it fills. I just have to remember to move the outlet around and clean the filter every couple of days. This necessitated us changing the type of detergent we use in the washing machine (not too difficult) and this water now goes to the thirstier plants during summer. I have written quite a lot about greywater over the last few years and urge anyone considering using it to do some research first. There are a lot of rules and regs about using greywater and it is a good idea to get it right the first time.
The main concerns with the use of greywater are:
1. The level of dissolved minerals in the water (never use a powder as they contain heaps of these).
2. The level of pathogens in the water (we are a dirty species!).

The Do’s of Greywater
· Do use water from the bathroom and washing machine not the kitchen
· Do use a surge tank from the washing machine and use rinse water only
· Do use liquid soaps on your body and in your washing machine
· Do divert back to sewer when not required
· Do wash your hands after handling it
· Do distribute it under mulch

The Don’ts of Greywater
· Don’t use it on vegetable gardens
· Don’t let kids or pets play in or drink it
· Don’t use bleaches or drain cleaners
· Don’t store it for more than 24 hours
· Don’t allow it to flow next door
· Don’t use nappy wash or rinse water

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