Posted by: Saving Water SA (Cape Town, South Africa) – partnered with Water Rhapsody conservation systems – 16 April 2011
Installing a grey water system provides safe garden irrigation all year round and saves money and water.
Using grey water for irrigation
Grey water is waste water from baths, basins showers and washing machines, and can be used safely to irrigate lawns and gardens provided certain rules are followed.
Rule 1. The correct choice of washing powders is necessary to avoid harm to plants (also see: Commercial washing powders destroy wetland). The use of a phosphate-free washing powder is required as well as avoiding fabric softeners or sodium hypochlorite, eg Jik. Provided that laundry washing powder is changed to one that is phosphate free, grey water is perfectly safe for all gardens, including fynbos.
Rule 2. It is important to avoid wastewater from kitchen sinks and dishwashers as this wastewater contains detergents that can harm your garden.
Rule 3. When harvesting grey water it is necessary to expel the wastewater to the garden immediately – it may not be stored for later use, as in a short period the grey water turns to black water.
Once grey water has been correctly identified it is re-routed from the gully (sewer) to a small chamber from where it is automatically and silently pumped to the garden for irrigation. This is normally sent to a flexible hose and pyramid style sprinkler, providing up to 6 meters of spray.
A correctly installed system must also be connected to the sewer pipe line. This will ensure that any overflow, e.g. caused by a power failure, will see the grey water sent to sewer.
Water Rhapsody has 18 years of experience in grey water solutions, and provides a complete system installation; leaving you with years of free water and a green, healthy garden.