Harvesting grey water in your home is a good way to save this natural resource. Instead of letting bath and shower water pour down the drain, re-use it to water your garden.
The average suburban family of four will use much more than 200 litres of water each day for washing. You pay for water every time you turn on the tap, you pay to have it heated in your geyser and you pay to have it removed from your property through the sewerage system.
Grey water systems give homeowners the chance to collect grey water and use it a second time for garden irrigation - saving between 30 and 50 percent on water costs.
Collecting grey water and using it for irrigation can be a big part of your water-saving program at home, but it must be approached correctly to avoid endangering the health of your family and pets and damaging plants in your garden.
What is grey water?
Grey water is the name given to waste water coming from different sources in the home. It isn't fresh water as it contains soaps and other residues like toothpaste and beauty products, but it isn't black, sewerage water, which contains toxins and harmful pathogens.
You can safely harvest grey water from your bathroom and use it on your garden. Water from your kitchen sink or dishwasher should not be re0used at it may be contaminated with harmful chemicals, plant and animal fats and bacteria.
How to store grey water
Firstly, it is important to note that grey water should not be stored for longer than 24 hours, as it becomes anaerobic and full of pathogens, which are harmful to your health. Only when a purification system is installed can you safely store grey water for use over a period of time.
Garden ResQ is a compact water-saving system designed and manufactured in South Africa. It is a DIY-friendly product that will take only a few hours to install. Using an integral pump to divert water from your bathroom to the unit, a dual filter then removes any foreign matter. The advantage of this system is that it features a 'return to sewer' facility where water can be diverted into the sewerage system if you cannot use it.