Getting started with greywater harvesting: pumps, piping and disposal

Getting started with greywater harvesting: pumps, piping and disposal

So, you’ve decided you want to recycle your home’s greywater. Well done – you’re making a tangible contribution to South Africa’s water security!

Let’s discuss some of the technical details you need to think about, specifically in terms of pumps, filtration, and disposal.

Greywater can be used for applications like flushing toilets; irrigation; and washing your car.

Generally, greywater can be used for these application without any further treatment, but not always. Consider this: while blood, grease and oils carried in water from the kitchen is fine for flushing toilets, it’s less ideal when it makes an appearance as you’re trying to wash your car.

Next, think about how much greywater you will generate, and how much you can use. Will your greywater stand for over 24 hours? This is important because after 24 hours, bacterial content and nutrient breakdown causes the greywater to become black water. If there’s a chance your greywater will stand for over 24 hours, aerators, biological additives or UV needs to be used to prevent the onset of black water. If you’ll be using your greywater within 24 hours, you can get away with simple macrofiltration.

Pumping greywater

Gravity is the easiest way to collect greywater – but it’s not often that you can physically implement your greywater system sequentially according to altitude.

A greywater pump will give you far more control and flexibility in how you deal with greywater. These designs don’t need to be complicated. A general rule when building your greywater harvesting system is always choose the simplest design you can, and build it as well as you can.

Get started with greywater harvesting today!