Grey Water- Not Drinking Water- For Your Garden


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The average home can reduce their water consumption by around 30% by re-using grey water on their garden.

The figures are compelling. Sure, they vary from household to household, but they go something like this…

An average household on a suburban block consumes some 60,000 gallons/300,000 litres of water a year- all of it drinking-quality water from the tap.

Around one-third, or 20,000 gallons/100,000 litres a year, is used on gardens and lawns.

That means that around 40,000 gallons/200,000 litres get used in the home.

Almost all of that (lets say 36,000 gallons/180,000 litres) leaves the home, and the block, as waste water.

Now, here’s the fun part. According to one major water body, 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.

60% of 36,000/180,000 is just over 20,000 gallons/100,000 litres.

Where have we heard that number before? Oh, yes, that’s the same 20,000/100,000 we put on the garden and lawns!

As 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 prices?

Let’s 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.

So 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.

- automatically pump water to the garden.

- pump itself out every 24 hours to meet the requirements of health and environment authorities.

- have a unit price under $1000.

There is now such a product on the Australian market, called eco-Care. Visit our website, and you can read more about it, and other Grey Water Systems .

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 if possible.

  • Don’t use grey water near fruit or vegetables.

  • Don’t use grey water containing lint and hair with fine-pore soaker hoses.

  • Grey water is alkaline, so don’t drown acid-loving plants in it.

  • Choose a less aggressive detergent and you can use the water on more plants.

  • Read the detergent lab report at our site to help you choose.

  • Don’t let grey water leave your property

  • Remain actively involved in the use and maintenance of your equipment

    Follow these few sensible guidelines, and you may be able to reduce YOUR water consumption by 30%, saving money, and the environment. -

    What about water 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 is the Founder of Enviro-Friendly Products, a marketer of water tanks, solar hot water systems, grey water systems, leafless guttering and hot water recirculators. You’re invited to visit the Enviro-Friendly Products website, where you’ll find full product and contact details.

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