Australia is experiencing increasing
pressure on its finite water resources. This
pressure, combined with increasing community
interest in water conservation, has prompted many
inquiries to the State EPA authorities and local councils
about reusing household wastewater.
Many large water authorities have started to implement waste
water recycling schemes which will see Class A quality
recycled water distributed under mains pressure to
new residential and commercial areas. This water
supply is easily identifiable as all plumbing must
be installed using the purple/lilac colour.
Click here for illustration of Urban Plumbing
At a domestic scale many householders
currently reuse their greywater for garden
watering. You need to check with your local
authority if you are permitted to do so in your
What is Greywater?
Water that is discharged from household
appliances and water using fixtures such as:
It excludes water discharged from toilets, bidets and urinals
(black water) .
What are the risks in using Greywater?
Greywater contains large numbers of bacteria
that may include disease causing organisms. It also
contains a number of pollutants including organic
matter, nutrients, salts and detergents. Long term
watering with greywater can effect sensitive garden
plants and soil.
Am I allowed to reuse Greywater?
You may divert untreated greywater for immediate
reuse, as long as there are no adverse impacts on
public health or the environment, caused by
greywater run-off to stormwater. (Check with
your local Council)
Use a licensed plumber to install the diversion system
Water diversion systems are best restricted to low risk
sources such as bath, shower and laundry rinse water
Kitchen water should not be used as it is heavily contaminated
with fats, greases and solids
Laundry wash water is also high in detergent concentrations
Be aware of biodegradable labeled products
Only divert in hot dry conditions, in quantities that
can be taken up by plants & soil
Ensure there is no cross connection of greywater with
the drinking water supply
It is illegal to store greywater for later use in a tank
(24 hr maximum storage)
Do not discharge greywater near agi pipes as the greywater
will flow into the stormwater system
- Place signage around the areas you discharge greywater
- so people are aware.