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How grey water can be reused in your home using water systems specifically tailored to Aussie conditions of living to ensure efficiency and value-for-money.
The exact benefits of grey water recycling
Yes, you save money. Yes, you help the environment. But how exactly, do you really help?
Lower fresh water use Grey water can replace fresh water in many instances, saving money and increasing the effective water supply in Australia where the dry weather requires constant irrigation. Residential water use is almost evenly split between indoor and outdoor. All except toilet water could be recycled outdoors, achieving the same result with significantly less water diverted from nature. Less strain on septic tank or treatment plant Grey water use greatly extends the useful life and capacity of septic systems. For Australian municipal treatment systems, decreased wastewater flow means higher treatment effectiveness and lower costs which will result in public funding being redirected to such uses as education and healthcare. Highly effective purification Grey water is purified to a remarkably high degree in the upper, most biologically active region of the soil. This protects the quality of the soil's natural surface and ground waters. Site unsuitable for a septic tank For sites with slow soil percolation or other problems, a grey water system can be a partial or complete substitute for a very costly, over-engineered septic tank system. Less energy and chemical use Less energy and chemicals are used due to the reduced amount of both freshwater and wastewater that needs pumping and treatment. For those who have to provide their own water or electricity, the advantage of a reduced burden on the infrastructure is felt directly
in the pocket. Also, treating your wastewater in the soil under your own fruit trees definitely encourages you to dump fewer toxic chemicals down the drain. Groundwater recharge Grey water application in excess of plant needs recharges groundwater making topsoil healthier. Plant growth Grey water enables a landscape to flourish where water may not otherwise be available to support much plant growth due to water being an expensive commodity in a certain location. Reclamation of otherwise wasted nutrients Loss of nutrients through wastewater disposal in rivers or oceans is a subtle, but highly significant form of erosion. Reclaiming nutrients in grey water helps to maintain the fertility of the land and promote healthy plant growth. Increased awareness of and sensitivity to natural cycles Grey water use yields the satisfaction of taking responsibility for the wise husbandry of an important resource, which is the water that we use every day. One also learns more of the ecology and the balance of Mother Nature, by interacting more actively with her through the use of grey water treatment systems.
Grey Water Treatment System Australia
Grey water treatment system in Australia methods can range from low cost methods such as the manual bucketing of grey water from the laundry trough or bathtubs, to primary treatment methods that coarsely screen oils, greases and solids from the grey water before irrigation via small trench systems, to the best grey water treatment system in Australia that treat and disinfect the grey water to a high standard before irrigating it via micro drip or spray systems. The best grey water treatment system in Australia will be dependant on a number of factors including whether a new system is being installed or a disused wastewater system is being converted because the property has been connected to sewer. Options for reusing grey water are listed below. Manual bucketing of grey water In its simplest form, manually irrigating (eg. bucketing laundry wastewater) to absorptive soils is acceptable provided that relevant health and safety conditions are complied with.
Primary Grey Water Treatment Systems Primary treatment methods use a sedimentation tank to coarsely screen out oils/greases and solids prior to irrigation via sub-soil trench irrigation systems that are suitable to receive the primary treated grey water. These systems are likely to be considered the most economically attractive for grey water reuse because they require only minimal maintenance and generally do not rely heavily on electricity or chemicals to operate. The basic requirements and examples of these systems are given in Appendix 3. Secondary Grey Water Treatment Systems Secondary treatment systems further treat the grey water to remove more of the oils/greases and solids than in primary treatment. This allows secondary treated grey water to be irrigated via micro-drip or surface irrigation methods (where disinfected), without the pipes becoming quickly clogged. These systems are generally more expensive, due to the initial establishment costs associated with the further treatment needs and the ongoing maintenance costs. However, the treatment level enables a much more conventional surface irrigation system and less health risk with human contact. Other Treatment Systems Other examples of grey water treatment systems that do not incorporate typical primary secondary treatment tank systems are considered in a number of worldwide grey water publications. Examples might include systems that physically capture/filter out solids from specific grey water streams prior to irrigation and will require ongoing householder maintenance to regularly clean filters. It is likely that with the introduction of these guidelines, interest in the use of such products will occur. It is also anticipated that applications will follow from manufacturers seeking approval to allow the marketing and use of such systems in Western Australia.