With water restrictions and increased education across Australia, more people in North Queensland are asking about the ability to use grey water in their lawn watering routine. Yes, and not only will it help the environment, but it helps your wallet as well.
Essentially, grey water is made up of the wastewater from spas, hand basins, laundry tubs, washing machines, dishwashers, kitchen sinks, showers and baths – it does not include water from toilets. When used appropriately you can water your lawn with grey water and save around 400 litres of fresh water every day.
Wastewater is classified as either recycled water, grey water or black water* and local government areas have different rules regarding the use of each so make sure you check.
Grey water can be diverted to your lawn through direct diversion or a domestic grey water treatment system (DGTS). A DGTS will produce higher quality grey water to use in the garden, on the lawn and possibly your toilet or washing machine. Approximately 61% of the total wastewater produced by an average household can be used as grey water.
Grey water usage considerations:
- Using grey water is just one of many ways to save water in your home and garden. Consider installing cost effective water saving devices such as tap aerators and water efficient shower heads.
- Always refer to your local council’s regulations for the use of grey water.
- Untreated grey water is best diverted from the bath, shower and laundry rinse cycle only.
- Using untreated grey water in your garden means you may need to cut back on the amount of fertiliser you use.
- Treated grey water has had most nutrients like nitrogen and phosphorus removed, so it’s safer to use in large quantities.
- Only use grey water with watering systems that are under the soil surface.
- Make sure you get a licensed plumber to install your grey water system.
- Keep an eye on how your plants react when you start using grey water, and consult your lawn care specialist if you notice any changes.
- pH test kits and grey water hoses can be obtained from most hardware stores or nurseries
- If using washing machine water, avoid water containing fabric softener
To learn more about using grey water on lawns just contact the team at Harden Park Lawns, we’re here to help.
* Black water is made up of the wastewater from toilets, urinals and bidets. It is contaminated by human excrement and requires a detailed treatment process such as a composting toilet before it is suitable to use in the garden or on the lawn.