Re-using greywater can save both water and money yet it can also be harmful to your health, and your garden, if it's not treated properly.
Greywater comes out of appliances (like washing machines and dishwashers) and from sinks, showers and bathtubs. It does not include water from toilets.
Greywater use is strictly regulated. Before you put in a system to recycle it, make sure you get all the approvals you need.
You need to get approval for each part of your system: treatment, development, and installation. This process makes sure your system will protect both you and your environment.
Each approval comes from a different place:
- For approval of the treatment process and use of greywater, you need to talk to SA Health
- The planning and development of proposed greywater systems is approved by local government
- You need approval to divert greywater from existing systems. If you are in a sewered area, or in an area with a Septic Tank Effluent Drainage (STED) scheme, you will need approval. To find out more about how to do that, contact SA Health
- If you need to change your plumbing system, you need approval from the Office of the Technical Regulator (OTR). Make sure you have all approvals before you do this.
Ways to use greywater
Most people who use greywater use it to water their gardens. If you want to do this too, make sure you:
- don't use greywater on plants that might be eaten raw
- don't use greywater from your kitchen in your garden.
Kitchen greywater contains harmful micro-organisms and small particles. Using it in your garden may block up your irrigation system.
Greywater should not be used in your toilet as flushing creates an aerosol-like effect. Additionally, some problems have been experienced with toilet cisterns operating on greywater due to microbial growth interfering with the flushing operation.
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