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Use greywater and save

Greywater provides an easy solution for saving water and keeping your garden looking good


Greywater can help to mitigate the pressure on fresh water and even save you money. It is defined as used water from baths, showers, bathroom wash basins and laundry water.


About 50 to 80% of water used in your home can be reused as greywater to flush toilets and water your garden. When towns and cities experience drought conditions, water restrictions kick in and using water for garden irrigation is prohibited. This makes greywater essential for keeping plants and your lawn alive and thriving. If you choose to use greywater, you must do so responsibly.

Protocols for greywater

Mark Joubert of the Garden ResQ DIY system offers the following advice:


* Keep your greywater within the boundaries of your own home.

* Only utilise greywater from the bath, shower and laundry. Never use greywater from the dishwasher or kitchen sink as this will contain plant and animal fats which will damage your soil over time and form a fatty barrier that will prevent any water penetrating it.

* Should you use laundry water, ensure that the detergent is biodegradable. Most products sold in South Africa are.

* Do not use potable water irrigation systems for greywater distribution. The irrigation holes are too small for greywater and they will clog over a very short period.

* Water the garden with a sprinkler that delivers a large water droplet. The pyramid sprinkler is ideal. Fine spray sprinklers allow the water to be lost due to wind and will possibly blow into your neighbour’s property.

* Do not allow your greywater to enter the storm drains. Because of the high nutrients in greywater, it is very possible to cause algae bloom in rivers and dams.

* Do not store greywater – use it immediately or at least within 12 hours. Greywater will produce an unpleasant smell if stored for anything longer than 24 hours.


Read the full article in The Home Handyman, March/April 2019 issue – ON SALE NOW

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