So much of our domestic potable drinking water is consumed in the kitchen for washing dishes, in the laundry in our washing machine as well as in the family bathroom for taking showers. Grey water is the result of all this activity.
The use of greywater in South Australia is governed by SA Health. The Greywater (SA Health, 2015) webpage provides information on advantages and hazards associated with greywater use as well as the guidelines on how greywater can be used safely for irrigation and domestic use, principally the flushing of toilets.
Greywater treatment systems can be used to manage the input of water from the kitchen, laundry, and bathroom and the reuse for the flushing of toilets and irrigation of domestic gardens. SA Health has approved some treatment systems for use. See Approved wastewater products for South Australia (SA Health, 2013).
RMIT has an ongoing project to research the impact of greywater on domestic soils. They have been monitoring soils on specific sites in the Melbourne area to determine what the long term effect is to soil characteristics. RMIT and the Alternative Technology Association (ATA) have provided some useful documents which can assist in understanding how to better use greywater and how to install a system:
- The Impact of Greywater Irrigation Systems on Domestic Soil Environments summary (Namdarian, 2007)
- Potential Impacts of using Greywater for Domestic Irrigation (RMIT Environmental Science Department, 2009)
- Urban Greywater Design and Installation Handbook (MPMSAA & RMIT University, 2008)
The ATA have published a number of articles on greywater usage. Here is a list of some notable ones:
- Stay smart with grey stuff (no. 109)
- GreywaterWatch: salt and soil (no. 112)
- Staying Green with greywater (no. 110)
- Greywater and your soil (no. 104)
Watch this video for some general information: Greywater presented by Bunnings (Bunnings, 2012)
Bunningswarehouse (2012, 2 May). How to Use Grey Water – DIY At Bunnings. Retrieved from Youtube: https://youtu.be/6V1f96sPLek
Namdarian F. (2007). The impact of greywater irrigation systems on domestic soil environments summary. RMIT University. Retrieved from: http://www.ata.org.au/wp-content/projects/ata_soil_project_summary.pdf
Master Plumbers and Mechanical Services Association of Australia (MPMSAA), RMIT University (2008). Urban greywater design and installation handbook. Retrieved from: http://www.nwc.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0017/10754/GREYWATER_handbook_nwc_logo.pdf
RMIT Environmental Science Department (2009). Meehan, B, Maxey, A (Editors). Potential impacts of using greywater for domestic irrigation. RMIT University. Retrieved from: http://www.ata.org.au/wp-content/projects/soaps_and_shampoo_final.pdf
SA Health (2013, June). Approved wastewater products in South Australia: Greywater systems. Retrieved from: http://www.sahealth.sa.gov.au/wps/wcm/connect/f349600048f0e34884fc87f25a3eb7d6/wwproducts_5_greywater_Sep_2014.pdf?MOD=AJPERES&CACHEID=f349600048f0e34884fc87f25a3eb7d6
SA Health (2015, 22 December) Greywater. Retrieved from: http://www.sahealth.sa.gov.au/wps/wcm/connect/Public+Content/SA+Health+Internet/Protecting+public+health/Water+quality/Wastewater/Disposing+of+wastewater+onsite/Greywater