A guide on grey water disposal

Discover how greywater recycling works

grey water disposal


If you’re like most people, you probably haven’t given much thought to what happens to the water you use when showering or using the washing machine. This type of water, which is known as “grey water”, is somewhat different from the water that flows from your tap or carries human waste from your home. As a result, your method of grey water disposal bears some closer consideration.


How Does Grey Water Leave the Home?

Under typical conditions, household plumbing systems are designed to combine grey water with sewage water, also known as “black water.” Then, it leaves the home through the sewage removal system, heading either to a septic tank or water treatment facility.

While black water can serve no additional useful purpose in your home, such is not the case with grey water. Grey water contains a much lower level of harmful contaminants when compared to black water, which means it can be reused safely and effectively in conjunction with your home’s irrigation system.


Grey Water Recycling Systems

An efficient way to maximize grey water disposal is through the use of a grey water recycling system. These systems generally consist of a unit that is installed outside your home and is connected to your household appliances as well as your home’s irrigation system.

Each time you shower or use your appliances, the unit collects and filters the water, removing impurities without the use of chemicals. The filtered water is then delivered via your irrigation system to wherever you need it, including flowerbeds, gardens and landscaping areas. Instead of inefficient grey water disposal, you benefit from recycling what would otherwise be nothing more than wastewater.


Why Choose Recycling as Your Method of Grey Water Disposal?

Of course, you can continue with the typical grey water disposal method of simply letting it swirl down the drain. However, grey water recycling offers some important advantages. When you consider that as much as 60 to 70 percent of your household water budget is devoted to outdoor irrigation, an effective grey water system could save you a ton of money on your water bills. You’ll also be assisting in water conservation efforts. If you rely on a septic system as your black and grey water disposal method, you’ll be reducing the burden you place upon it.


Other Grey Water Disposal and Recycling Considerations

If you are considering a recycling system as your grey water disposal method, there are a few things to keep in mind. If your soil is overly permeable or not permeable enough, or you do not have an area with enough soil to effectively process the grey water, recycling may not be practical. If you live in a cold climate, you may only be able to make effective use of recycling for irrigation purposes during the summer months. Some areas of the United States have certain restrictions against the use of grey water systems, although water shortages and other factors are leading to the loosening of restrictions in many regions.


Photo by Jeremy Levine Design