Grey Water Recycling made easy…

What with the dry Cape Town summer and a spirited 6 year old neighbour who likes to practise for his future sporting stardom by running around in our garden, our lawn has been looking slightly worse for wear of late. However, being all too aware of how precious our water resources are, I am not one to waste them on a lawn that I know will grow back of its own accord anyway come the winter rains.

I’ve been trying to brainstorm easy ways to reuse some of our household grey water without any major cash investment. Every now and then when I’m inspired I haul a few buckets of water from our washing machine down to the garden (we live on the first floor) but I must admit this inspiration does not hit very often…

However this morning I had another idea, inspired from childhood days of cleaning my fish tank by siphoning the water out with just a pipe. So I decided to do the same thing with my bath water and a hose pipe.

Make sure that this end in the bath is higher than the other end where the water is coming out. Find a brave volunteer to start sucking on the other end to get the flow going… and gravity will do the rest..

Through the house

As long as the end is lower than the beginning, the hosepipe can even go up over obstacles, like a windowsill, without affecting the flow.

Down to a thirsty garden below.

The whole process took less than 5 minutes to set up and couldn’t have been easier. Now I can enjoy guilt free baths and a green lawn 🙂

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6 Responses to Grey Water Recycling made easy…

  1. emme January 26, 2011 at 10:40 am #

    brilliant. if you were to use washing machine water or dishwashing water, do you think the detergent could kill your plants, or is it dlituted enough?

  2. Julia January 26, 2011 at 5:38 pm #

    My kids did a science project a few years ago and using grey water was fine, not ideal constantly but plants will do better than if they have no water….Feel inspired to tackle this one at my house, always meant to but not sure where to start, single storey house means no gravity!

  3. Robin January 26, 2011 at 5:47 pm #

    Try buying a small fishpond submersible pump. the hose goes straight over it, and can pump it out simply and not too fast!
    I can help you if you want.
    Cheers
    Robin

  4. Robin January 26, 2011 at 5:48 pm #

    @emme – try a biowashball from any glomail type shop or website Verimark I think have them

  5. shaggy January 26, 2011 at 10:58 pm #

    using eco friendly detergent or soap in the bath should make it fine to irrigate with.

    Using old dishwashing water sometimes result in the odd tomato plant popping up in your garden!

  6. mol-d January 27, 2011 at 2:18 pm #

    The tenants at my parents’ house use the waste hosepipe from their washing machine to water the garden. Not sure if they use bio-friendly detergents but the garden seems happy enough 🙂

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