Greywater Recycling Around The Home
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
If you’re looking to lower your utilities bill, or are simply eco-conscious, reducing water waste around the home has both financial and environmental benefits. As one of our most precious resources, managing our usage of water is of the utmost importance. Need some convincing?
• According to the UN, by 2030, 47% of the world’s population will be living in high-stress water areas.
• Over 80% of wastewater is not collected/treated, most of it from urban areas. Urban populations are set to grow by 2.9 billion from now until 2050.
• In 60% of European cities with a population of over 100 000, groundwater is being used at a faster rate than it can be replenished.
• In the last century, water use has been growing at twice the rate of population growth.
• The number of climate refugees as a result of floods, loss of wetlands and rising sea levels is set to increase to 2 billion.
• Yields from rain-dependent agriculture could be reduced by up to 50% by 2020.
• Due to population increase, there will be a 70% increase in demand for food by 2040. This means that the world’s water supply will be responsible for supporting the agricultural and water needs of an additional 2.7 billion.
Practice What You Preach
Waste water is perhaps the biggest issue when it comes to domestic water use. Greywater is defined as the waste water that results from laundry, dish washing and bathing. Essentially, it refers to water containing mild detergents, but no human waste or harsh chemicals. Greywater can be used to flush the toilet – it just needs to be added to the cistern.
A second use for greywater is for garden irrigation. In fact, it comes with a slight fringe benefit – mild detergents contain nitrates, the same chemicals used in fertilizers to encourage plant growth. You
can purchase a special greywater tank, and divert your bath water, for example, to flow into the tank. It is vital not to leave the greywater sitting in the tank for too long, however, since it will start to smell. The same reason that greywater can benefit plant growth is also why one should not pour it into any kind of garden pond – the added nitrates will lead to algae growth.
Don’t Rain On My Parade
Rainwater is another great source that can be used to irrigate your garden, or wash your car – any outdoor chore, really. Special tanks can be purchased, so in order to store the rainwater. There are also rainwater diverters, which are special devices used, as the name suggests, to divert the rain away from your gutter in order to top up your pool, or divert it into a collection tank.
Other household suggestions to help reduce your water consumption include replacing the washers on dripping taps, or at least placing a jug beneath it and using the collected water the next day. Switch the shower off when you’re busy lathering your hair, or leaving in a conditioner that requires a wait time. Don’t complete the laundry until you have a full load, and not just a few items.
Remain water-wise – the future of the planet lies in your hands.
Image courtesy of Flickr.
Grace Matthews is a London-based lifestyle blogger who never hesitates to make use of plumbers services when the waterworks give trouble!