Grey water re-use

Temporary reuse of greywater (all non-toilet household wastewater) can be a good water resource during times of drought and water restrictions, but its reuse can carry health and environmental risks.

Greywater can be reused following a few simple steps with readily available systems. A number of products are now on the market that enables access to greywater from domestic plumbing situations. These products are designed for immediate greywater reuse.

Untreated greywater can be reused effectively and safely in domestic situations by following a few simple tips.

Greywater dos

  • Reuse wastewater from baths, showers, hand basins and washing machines (preferably the final rinse water)
  • Only apply as much greywater on the garden as the soil can absorb and rotate the areas that you water
  • Wash your hands after watering with greywater
  • Use environmentally friendly shampoos, detergents and cleaning products to better protect your soil and plants
  • Stop using greywater if plants appear to become unhealthy or odours are generated.

Greywater don'ts

  • Water vegetable gardens
  • Use kitchen wastewater (including from dishwashers), due to the high concentration of food wastes and chemicals that are not readily broken down by soil organisms
  • Let children or pets drink or play with greywater
  • Use greywater that has faecal contamination, such as from washing nappies or soiled sheets
  • Store greywater for more than 24 hours, or store in rainwater tanks
  • Allow greywater to flow from your property or enter stormwater drains.

If you wish to put in a permanent treatment system for greywater recycling, you will be required to apply for a septic tank permit. Please note these systems are generally not approved within sewered areas.