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Greywater

'Greywater' is wastewater from:

  • showers
  • baths
  • hand basins
  • laundry tubs
  • washing machines
  • dishwashers, and
  • kitchen sinks.

Greywater does not include water from toilets, urinals or bidets.

How can I re-use greywater?

Whilst re-using domestic greywater on your garden and pot-plants can save many litres of potable water each day, risks of illness and/or pollution must be minimised. The following advice is provided for the safe reuse of greywater:

  • Due to health risks greywater must be used directly and not stored

  • Greywater must not be used to water edible plants

  • Care must be taken when re-using greywater to ensure the watering location is away from, and does not impact upon, watercourses, neighbouring properties and environmentally sensitive areas

  • Greywater cannot be disposed of into stormwater systems

  • Water from kitchen sinks and dishwashers is not recommended for greywater reuse because it often contains grease and food particles that may have high pH levels.

Greywater diversions and treatment systems

  • Manual bucketing - collection of small quantities of water in buckets for direct reuse on gardens and lawn.
  • Greywater diversions and treatment devices -
    • Diversion devices - greywater is redirected for use outside the home on gardens and lawns using subsurface irrigation.
    • Treatment systems - greywater is treated for reuse inside the home (i.e. toilet flushing, washing machines) as well as outside watering.

Installation of greywater diversion devices and greywater treatment systems can only be done if certain conditions are met.  Both require installation by a licensed plumber.  For advice on system and approval requirements contact Council's Environmental Health Officers on (02) 6581 8111 or email council@pmhc.nsw.gov.au.

More information

Further information on Greywater can be found at:  

https://www.smartwatermark.org/smartwateradvice/saving-water-garden/greywater/

This page was last updated on: 12 August 2019