Greywater systems are designed to reuse your indoor water as the water needed for your outdoor irrigation needs. The collection and redistribution of water from drains and taps can significantly reduce your water footprint. Greywater systems can vary in size, collection method, and storage capacity.
The simplest systems just require buckets! Use a bucket to collect the water from general sink use, like hand washing. Placing a bucket or two in the shower can also help collect water to use later instead of letting it run down the drain. Capacity of these simple systems is limited to the size of the bucket, though water can be saved in a barrel outside until needed. You’ll just have to use a little lifting and muscle to get it to the storage container.
More extensive greywater systems will require drainage lines, storage containers, and an engineering brain (or two). These systems can collect from all of your sinks, bathtub, shower, and even the washing machine, and drain automatically into the proper area. Sufficient storage is a necessity – you can save about 35 gallons per household person PER DAY! A family of four could potentially save 30,000 to 50,000 gallons of water annually to use outdoors, depending on the fixtures connected to the system and how efficiently the system works.
Greywater systems, both large and small, can provide the following benefits:
• Reduce potable water use by a significant percentage
• Reduce your water bill
• Reduce energy and chemicals used to treat the water at the treatment plant
• Encourage use of non-toxic and natural products within the home
• Raises awareness of water usage inside the home
• Alleviates the stress on septic systems or treatment plants
• Provides important resources for your yard and garden
By collecting used water for non-potable uses like outdoor irrigation or even flushing toilets, your household can save money and conserve water. In times of drought and water limitations, this can be an important step in yard and garden maintenance if watering is prohibited. Start the practice of greywater collection now and you’ll start seeing results. Do your part and be environmentally conscious – don’t let this important resource simply run down the drain!