Water conservation and Collecting Greywater
In looking into ways I can green my home I’m exploring the possibilities of using Greywater.
Greywater? I know it doesn’t sound all that appealing does it? Not like something you want to bathe and splash about in! But in light of the precious need to conserve water, the use of greywater can be an absolute essential for eco-living.
Greywater is the water that’s been used in a household for bathing, washing dishes and clothes, and for practical purposes also includes water collected from balconies and paved areas around a home, which can be contaminated with household cleaning products or other contaminants . It is generally not that dirty and much different from blackwater which is from the toilet and needs to be treated completely separately.
In my last blog I spoke about the benefits of using compost toilets which provides a solution to both the creation of blackwater and wastage of water caused by flushing. If however you were not convinced that a compost toilet is your best option you could instead flush with greywater rather than clean potable water and benefit doubly by saving resources and reusing a resource that would otherwise have gone to waste. There are many ways to make use of greywater in the home and these range from simple direct-use techniques to more complex filtration systems. An example of a direct use is to have the plumbing from the sink, shower or washing machine be routed through the garden for irrigation purposes. Other more complex systems, like Living Machines, use plants to filter and purify the water in order to reclaim it as fresh water.
It should be mentioned that whilst reusing greywater is a relatively simple thing, I have discovered there are many considerations that one should be aware of before tinkering with the household plumbing system. If done correctly I will save loads of water and have the satisfaction of recycling and reusing the most valuable commodity on Earth! Do it wrong however and I’ll likely end up with a system that is at best ineffective and at worst contributes more pollution than it avoids – yikes!
I’m making my way through the website of Art Ludwig, greywater expert and author of the seminal book ‘Creating an Oasis with Greywater’ and ‘The Builders Greywater Guide’. The site has some great builder’s tips and an extensive list and description of the mistakes to avoid when installing greywater systems. There are also many other online resources to research before taking the very metaphorical ‘plunge’ into greywater!
So I shall keep exploring the possibilities to discover how I can best use greywater in my home and environment. If you have installed a greywater system in your house please do share your experiences!Share this article on