The current widespread drought throughout many parts of South Africa has resulted in increased pressure on our drinking water as well as water shortages and watering restrictions in various areas.With the population increasing and changes in climate, it is becoming essential to conserve our precious water supply.
On average each person throws 100 litres of perfectly reusable ‘grey water’ into the drain every day.
What is Grey water?
Grey water is the waste water from the shower, bath, bathroom sink and washing machine. It does not include the toilet water or kitchen waste water.
Gardens and lawns need to be watered all year around. Grey water, which is being lost down the drain every day, could be reused to water the gardens and lawns. Installing a good grey water system will ensure that your garden stays green all year around.
Basic grey water guidelines:
- Do not store grey water for more than 24 hours. If you store grey water the nutrients in it will start to break down, creating bad odours. There are tank-less systems on the market that pump grey water directly to the garden every time someone baths, showers or does the laundry.
- It is important to minimize your contact with grey water.
- International standards in many countries recommend using a drip line irrigation system with grey water and not a sprinkler system. (SABS are looking into adopting these standards for South Africa.) This is in order to prevent any germs and bacteria that may be in the grey water system from getting airborne or settling on top of the lawn and garden, which can cause unpleasant odours and attract insects.
- Make sure that the drip line you use has been specifically designed for grey water use. Most standard drip line as well as irrigation systems are not designed for use with grey water and the emitter/spray nozzles often clog rendering the grey water system ineffective.
If you are considering installing a grey water system you need to be aware of the detergents and soaps that you are using. Choose “environmentally friendly” products, in particular products that are low in phosphorous and salt. These products are readily available at most of the supermarket chains in South Africa.
Courtesy of Water Conservation Systems www.watercon.co.za