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Grey water reuse

Grey water is usually regarded as waste water from the bath/shower, basin, laundry and kitchen.

Care should be taken as to what greywater is used to irrigate due to the detergents, soaps and shampoos that may be present in the water.

Greywater may also contain disease causing organisms, chemicals, dirt, lint, food, hair, body cells, fats, along with traces of urine, faeces and blood. For this reason care must be taken when reusing greywater. Manual bucketing of greywater onto lawn and garden areas using water from the bathroom or laundry, or temporary use of a hose manually fitted to the washing machine outlet hose, is permitted subject to the following advice:

  • Don't use greywater from washing clothes soiled by faeces or vomit, for example nappies.
  • Don't store untreated greywater for more than 24 hours, as bacteria and organic contaminants in greywater will cause it to turn septic and produce strong and offensive odours.
  • Don't use greywater if others in the household have diarrhoea or an infectious disease, as this could increase the risk of other people becoming ill.
  • Don't use greywater to irrigate fruit, vegetables, or areas where fruit can fall to the ground and be eaten.
  • Avoid splashing of greywater and wash your hands before eating or drinking or smoking.
  • Keep children away from areas watered with greywater until it has soaked into the ground.

Permanent greywater systems such as diversion devices or treatment systems, or any device attached to plumbing, can increase the use of greywater. However due to potential risks associated with greywater, permanent devices require installation approval from the City of Marion and the Office of the Technical Regulator.

Further information

Further information on wastewater and greywater reuse can obtained from SA Health.