Grey water is the water that goes down plug holes inside the house. This is distinct from the ‘brown’ or ‘black’ water from toilet flushing and the storm water that flows off rooftops and streets into gutters and storm water drains.

Garden irrigation is the most common use for greywater. In some states it can be bucketed or diverted to the garden for immediate use. Some states grey water can only be used on the garden using an approved permanent grey water system. To find out your local greywater regulations, contact with your council or water authority.

Tips for greywater in the garden:

  • Only use greywater from the laundry or bathroom on the garden. Waste water from the kitchen tends to have a high level of food and fat contamination and can lead to odour problems.
  • Don’t use hot water directly from the washing machine. This will scald your plants.
  • Don’t use laundry water that contains residue antibacterial cleaning products on the garden. Opt for eco-friendly detergents suitable for greywater use in the garden.
  • Avoid allowing greywater to pool on the surface of the soil. Use subsurface irrigation systems to get greywater to the roots. Alternatively, drip lines can be covered with mulch.
  • Greywater use must be confined to your property. It must not run off into stormwater drains or neighbouring properties, so keep an eye on the garden while using greywater to avoid over-watering.