Greywater harvesting: a vital piece of the sustainability puzzle

Greywater harvesting: a vital piece of the sustainability puzzle

Greywater, the wastewater from bathing and laundry systems, can be reused in a range of around-the-house applications, allowing us to become more discriminate of where, when and how we use potable water supply. As such, greywater harvesting will likely be a critical part of our struggle to become more water-wise and reduce our impact on the environment.

So if you’re thinking about greywater harvesting in your home, here are some guidelines you should follow:

  • If left untreated, greywater experiences fast increases in bacterial content and nutrient breakdown, and becomes black water after standing for 24 hours, causing odours
  • As such, delivery of greywater should be designed to soak into ground or a wetland of suitable plant species
  • Physical contact with greywater should be limited. It must definitely not be accessible as drinking water by people or animals
  • Avoid pumps and filtration systems that require extensive maintenance. Pumping greywater is generally not recommended, as solids like hair block the pump
  • Don’t harvest more greywater than you have capacity to deal with

Greywater harvesting systems can be simple or sophisticated as you require.

In a simple system, water can be fed into a 50-litre drum and passes through a macro filter. This water must be used within 24 hours.

More sophisticated systems entail water being fed from the 50-litre drum into an above-ground JoJo Tanks, before passing through a venturi valve which injects ozone into the water. This water can be stored for longer durations.

If we can harvest the water we produce in our household laundry and bathing activities, and use them appropriately in irrigation, washing cars and flushing toilets, we can dramatically lower our consumption of potable water and thus lessen the stress we place on our natural water sources.

Celebrate World Water Day by investing in greywater harvesting! Learn more about greywater harvesting with JoJo Tanks here.