The average home can reduce their water consumption by around 30% by re-using grey water on their garden.
The figures are compelling. Sure, they vary from household to household, but they go something like this?
An average household on a suburban block consumes some 60,000 gallons/300,000 litres of water a year- all of it drinking-quality water from the tap.
Around one-third, or 20,000 gallons/100,000 litres a year, is used on gardens and lawns.
That means that around 40,000 gallons/200,000 litres get used in the home.
Almost all of that (lets say 36,000 gallons/180,000 litres) leaves the home, and the block, as waste water.
Now, here's the fun part. According to one major water body, approximately 60% of that is re-usable grey water. That includes water from the bathroom and laundry, but does not include black water from the toilet, or water from the kitchen.
60% of 36,000/180,000 is just over 20,000 gallons/100,000 litres.
Where have we heard that number before? Oh, yes, that's the same 20,000/100,000 we put on the garden and lawns!
As we said, the figures are compelling. The question is, how do we do it in practice? Where do we find a product to take advantage of this free water, worth about $100 at today's low prices?
Let's start by excluding a few options from the discussion. At the bottom end of the scale, we'll exclude bucketing water from the house, and gravity feeding a hose from the washing machine. Cheap, but time consuming, and limited in application. We'll also exclude waste/grey water treatment systems that cost many thousands of dollars.
So that's what the product we're seeking isn't. What would the ideal product be? It would
- be able to accept water from both bathroom and/or laundry.
- automatically pump water to the garden.
- pump itself out every 24 hours to meet the requirements of health and environment authorities.
- have a unit price under $1000.
There is now such a product on the Australian market, called eco-Care. Visit our website, and you can read more about it, and other Grey Water Systems.
We need to think about how we use grey water to get the best results, and avoid problems. A few points worth considering?
? Use grey water sub-surface if possible.
? Don't use grey water near fruit or vegetables.
? Don't use grey water containing lint and hair with fine-pore soaker hoses.
? Grey water is alkaline, so don't drown acid-loving plants in it.
? Choose a less aggressive detergent and you can use the water on more plants.
? Read the detergent lab report at our site to help you choose.
? Don't let grey water leave your property
? Remain actively involved in the use and maintenance of your equipment
Follow these few sensible guidelines, and you may be able to reduce YOUR water consumption by 30%, saving money, and the environment. -
What about water tanks, you ask? It's a whole different subject, but I'd answer you this way?"They're great, but use that high-quality rainwater inside the house, where we can't really use grey water."
John Payne is the Founder of Enviro-Friendly Products, a marketer of water tanks, solar hot water systems, grey water systems, leafless guttering and hot water recirculators. You're invited to visit the Enviro-Friendly Products website, where you'll find full product and contact details.