Have your grey water tank cleaned yearly to empty dirt, food, grease and hair from the bottom of tank.
Grey water is water from your bathroom sinks, showers, tubs, and washing machines. It is not water that has come into contact with faeces, either from the toilet or from washing nappies.
Grey water may contain traces of dirt, food, grease, hair, and certain household cleaning products. While grey water may look “dirty,” it is a safe and even beneficial source of irrigation water in a yard. If released into rivers, lakes, or estuaries, the nutrients in grey water become pollutants, but to plants, they are valuable fertilizer. Use grey water to water grass, ornamental plants or fruit trees. Grey water can be used directly on vegetables as long as it doesn't touch edible parts of the plants.
In any grey water system, it is essential to put nothing toxic down the drain--no bleach, no dye, no bath salts, no cleanser, no shampoo with unpronounceable ingredients, and no products containing boron, which is toxic to plants. It is crucial to use all-natural, biodegradable soaps whose ingredients do not harm plants. Most powdered detergent, and some liquid detergent, is sodium based, but sodium can keep seeds from sprouting and destroy the structure of clay soils.
Basic Grey water Guidelines
Grey water is different from fresh water and requires different guidelines for it to be reused.
- Don’t store grey water (more than 24 hours). If you store grey water the nutrients in it will start to break down, creating bad odours.
- Minimize contact with grey water. Grey water could potentially contain a pathogen if an infected person's faeces got into the water, so your system should be designed for the water to soak into the ground and not be available for people or animals to drink.
- Infiltrate grey water into the ground, don’t allow it to pool up or run off (knowing how well water drains into your soil (or the soil percolation rate of your soil) will help with proper design. Pooling grey water can provide mosquito breeding grounds, as well as a place for human contact with grey water.