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Greywater is the perfect solution to keep your garden green during dry spells, and reduce council water rates.
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Reduce your bills by recycling water from your home

Clean drinking water is our planet’s most precious resource, and is vital to our survival, yet we use it to flush away our waste. Utilising recycled water or greywater – the water from shower, basins and taps in your home – may be the answer to the world’s water shortage and sky-high water bills. Here’s how.

1.  What is recycled water?

Greywater comes from non-toilet plumbing fixtures such as taps, sinks and showers. Due to regulations in Australia, dishwasher and kitchen sink water cannot be used as greywater. To clean greywater, there are a few regulations, including simple purification tanks to convert greywater into useful water for your home and garden.

Most Australians use at least 60 litres of water in their showers and hand basins per day, and around 20 litres of water in each of the toilet, laundry and kitchen. This means each Aussie is wasting 120 litres of clean drinking water each day, and paying high fees to do so.

2.  What can recycled water be used for?

Washing machines, toilets and thirsty gardens are the highest consumers of fresh drinking water in Australia, yet none of them have anything to do with human consumption. Sadly, we’re wasting this precious resource on processes that don’t need it; they would function perfectly with recycled water.

Greywater used for toilet flushing and clothes washing can save your household 50 litres of water per person, per day.

So, if saving money and the planet is sounding good, you’re probably wondering how the soap gets taken out of greywater so you can use it in your toilet?

 

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Treated greywater is ideal for watering your garden beds and lawns.

3.  How water is recycled so it can be used safely

A greywater disinfection system, which is approved in your state, must be used if you’re planning on using greywater for your toilet, garden and laundry. Your council can help advise you on which systems are best for your area.

The process for cleaning recycled water is simple. It involves course filtration, fine filtration and disinfection using UV or ozone disinfection systems. Once you have the treatment system set up, you’ll also need a plumber to redirect your plumbing from your shower, through the system, then into your toilets.

4.  How to make your recycled water cleaner and safer

Chemical exposure has increased significantly in the past few years with perfumes to lathering-agents containing more nasties than ever. With so many skin-friendly, natural and organic products available, at least one of your bath and shower products can become chemical free and safer for you, making your greywater safer too.

5.  How to save money by using recycled water

Household bills can appear never ending, and paying for drinking water that’s flushed down the toilet is a waste of money. Despite the initial approximate $10K you’ll spend installing your greywater filter, you’ll save at least around $100 per month on your bill. After a few years, when water rates have skyrocketed, you’ll be thrilled with your early commitment to water recycling.

6.  Recycled water will save your garden

Australia is often plagued with water restrictions due to our lack of this natural resource, and many gardens are too large for the allowed water intake. Greywater is the perfect solution to keep your garden green, without paying fines, or losing your precious plants.

You’ll need to pay for a greywater system to be installed in your home. Once installed though, you’ll save far more than the installation cost on bills, so this is only a short-term consideration.

Also, some compounds in greywater may take the brightness out of your clothes in the wash, but an activated carbon filter can help solve this problem.

With water costs rising, clean water is becoming more precious than ever, so why not save money, and the environment by installing a greywater system in your home.

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Don Milne

Don Milne is an experienced content creator and social media coordinator based in Melbourne. He has contributed to a wide range of websites and publications for over six years and has a passion for lifestyle information and "hacks" that help make people's lives easier.

The opinions expressed in this article are the opinions of the author(s) and not necessarily those of Homeloans Ltd.