Experts say that most residential households could probably reuse more than half their water as grey water. This means that if you installed a grey water system, your family could potentially save hundreds of litres of this precious resource every day.

 

WHAT IS GREY WATER?

Grey water is the waste water from your shower, bath, bathroom basins and washing machine. Water from dishwashers and kitchen sinks shouldn’t be used as grey water because it has too many chemicals, fats and other organic matter in it. Water used to flush toilets and water used to wash nappies is called black water, and should not be reused.

 

WHY REUSE GREY WATER?

Reusing grey water in your home is a relatively easy and pain-free way to reduce your water consumption dramatically. By reusing your shower and laundry water, your garden can stay green even in the middle of a drought, and your water costs will also decrease.

 

As long as you reuse grey water correctly, it’s safe, and not even smelly. The most important thing to remember is that grey water needs to be reused as soon as possible, so that harmful bacteria doesn’t have time to grow.

 

 

There are two main types of grey water systems:

 

GREY WATER DIVERSION SYSTEMS

The most common grey water systems available today are diversion systems. These simply divert the grey water from your bathroom or washing machine to your garden. The water is filtered, but it’s not treated. This means it should only be used for drip irrigation, and only on non-edible plants.

 

Is it right for you?

Grey water diversion systems are best if you have a garden that you want to keep healthy and looking good all year round.

 

How much does it cost?

The price of a good grey water diversion system depends on your existing plumbing, the size of your garden, and what you need in the way of pumps, tanks, and irrigation equipment. A fully installed grey water diversion system from a reputable company like Water Rhapsody costs in the range of R12 000 to R18 000.

 

Is it worth it?

Did you know that your garden makes up about 10 percent of the value of your home? So, the cost of a grey water system to keep your garden (and house value) growing during water restrictions is probably worthwhile.

 

GREY WATER TREATMENT SYSTEMS

Grey water treatment systems collect, filter and treat grey water to different levels of purity. These systems not only filter out solid waste, but also remove pathogens and chemicals and even disinfect the water using chlorine or UV light. Grey water treatment systems allow you to reuse grey water in your washing machine and toilet, as well as in your garden.

 

Is it right for you?

Grey water treatment systems are useful if you don’t have a garden, but still want to save as much water as possible, as they allow you to reuse your grey water elsewhere. Depending on the quality of the treatment system, you may also be able to reuse grey water for food gardening.

 

How much does it cost?

As you might guess, grey water treatment systems are quite a bit more expensive than diversion systems. And, systems that can treat grey water to a level good enough to use for food gardening are even pricier. These systems also have higher maintenance costs, as they need regular servicing and filter replacements.

 

Is it worth it?

If you are living in an extremely water-scarce area, like Cape Town, the ability to reuse as much water as possible to keep your home hygienic and your laundry clean could certainly be worth the additional investment.

 

GET WATERWISE WITH AN RCS PERSONAL LOAN

Apply for an RCS Personal Loan today and do your bit to save water, at the same time as improving the value of your home. Apply for anything from R2 000 to R150 000, get a decision in seconds, and money in your account within 24 hours. What are you waiting for?