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El Nino in the news – let’s talk about grey water

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Grey water is the wastewater from your household, laundry and bathroom, but not the toilet, kitchen sink or dishwasher which potentially contain nasty chemicals, solids and fats. 

The use of grey water for gardening is becoming common practice. This is generally a good thing, but there are a few considerations to note. Use suitable detergents that are low in phosphorous and sodium. You can buy these at most supermarkets.

Ways to use grey water:

  1. A grey water diversion system diverts grey water from your waste pipes to your lawn and garden. There are a few systems available, the simplest just being a bucket. Or you can set up a pump with pipes and drip lines.
  2. A grey water treatment system is used for stored grey water and required treatment to remove offensive odours, harmful microorganisms and other nasties. Once treated, the grey water can be used in your garden and/or to flush toilets.

Soil type is another consideration in deciding to use grey water in your garden.

Clay soils will hold onto grey water solid particles far more than sandy soils, to the point where the levels can become harmful. Flushing the soil with clean water will help remove these particles. Long term, continuous use of grey water can cause issues. Sandy soils that drain and leach easily don’t suffer from this problem nearly as much.

Finally, regulations vary across Queensland and from council to council so check with your local authorities to find out what is legal and suitable for your area. Your water supplier and council should have the guidelines on your use of grey water.

Visit the Lawn Care Maintenance and Advice section of our website or click here to contact us for free lawn care advice, measure and quote or phone 1800 061 023.
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