This is my brief guide on how to use greywater for gardening. Also, I include a system that collects and stores greywater.
How to use greywater for gardening
- Do not store it for more than 24 hours. Eventually, it will start creating bad odours.
- Greywater may contain pathogens, therefore minimise contact with it as much as possible. It should not be available for people or animals to drink.
- Do not allow greywater to pool up, because it will provide a place for human and animal contact with it. Also, mosquitos will be able to breed there.
- Make your greywater system as simple as possible, so it requires less maintenance.
For example, the easiest way to store greywater is to keep it in a large barrel, like in the picture above. You can reuse wash water from the washing machine and keep it in the barrel. Attach a hose to the bottom of the barrel and move it around the garden to water the plants.
- The soil has small air gaps in its structure. Therefore, you should avoid pouring greywater on the bare ground, because it will clog the soil. Instead, cover the ground with mulch and then discharge grey water onto the mulch.
What is greywater?
Greywater is wastewater from sinks, baths, washing machines, showers and dishwashers. It might contain faecal contamination. Also, it may contain soap and detergent, but compost and soil filter them out. Greywater can be used for landscape irrigation, for watering plants, toilet flushing and etc. However, dishwasher water is rich in salts and can damage soil structure, especially if it contains clay. Watering edible crops with greywater can be dangerous, because it contains pathogens. Greywater helps to save on fresh, clean water and less wastewater needs to be treated and filtered.
How to easily collect greywater
- Pour rinse water onto plants.
- You can collect water from the shower if you place a bucket in the shower.
- Scoop wash water from the sink and use it to water your plants.
- Collect water from your pet’s bowl before refreshing it.
Collecting water in buckets or barrels is a quite laborious way. However, there is an alternative. I would recommend contacting a professional company that can set up an automatic system for reusing greywater. Here is what a greywater system can look like.