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Greywater, sometimes also spelled as graywater, grey water or gray water, is all of the effluent water from a household, except that from the toilets, which is sometimes called "blackwater". In addition, if greywater is held for too long (>24 hours in temperate climates), it will become blackwater.[verification needed]

The water leaving our homes carries nutrients and value. It may also contain pathogens, and/or harsh chemicals and care should be taken with it; however, it is not a great risk compared to blackwater (sewage).

Redirecting the water we use for tasks such as showering allows us to reclaim some of that value to grow plants and recharge the water table. It may be necessary to choose our soaps and detergents more carefully, if we use the greywater for watering and fertilizing plants.

Tips on how to minimize health risks associated with greywater

  • Wash yourself after contacting greywater.
  • Install signage around greywater irrigation systems or areas.
  • Do not drink or play with greywater.
  • Do not allow anything that may be eaten to come into contact with greywater.
  • Do not allow greywater to pond or run off the property.
  • Do not wash domestic pets in greywater or allow pets to drink greywater.
  • Do not use greywater in public places such as children's play areas or playgrounds, BBQ areas or recreation facilities.

Suggested projects

  • What is the effect of various detergents and soaps in a greywater system? Consider the receiving soil and plant types - the answer may vary.[Suggested project]



Interwiki links

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Information on Greywater can be found at Wikipedia. What's this?

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