There has been a big buzz in recent times as to the subject of greywater, and how it is beneficial for use outdoors in certain circumstances. So many people are now becoming aware of the immense benefits of reusing greywater, and of how the term \u201cwastewater\u201d isn\u2019t actually entirely factually correct anymore.\r\n\r\nHere, we take a look at what greywater recycling actually is, how to use greywater, and how its use can help the environment.\r\n\r\n\r\nWhat is Greywater?\r\nWhen you use water in your home, for example, in the washing machine, tub, sink, shower, or bathroom in general, so long as it hasn\u2019t come into contact with feces, this is known as greywater. The biggest difference between greywater and sewage \u2013 also known as blackwater \u2013 is that sewage is much more organically loaded than greywater.\r\nWhat is Greywater Used For?\r\nAs a rule, greywater can contain traces of certain cleaning products, hair, grease, food or dirt, and although it may seem dirty to you, it can be utilized as a source of irrigation water in your outdoor spaces, for toilet flushing, and for laundry.\r\n\r\nWith the correct treatment, greywater can be put to very good use, as it can also be used to water both nonfood- and food-producing plants due to the fact that its nutrients, like nitrogen and phosphorus, provide food to help them flourish.\r\nBenefits of Reusing Greywater\r\nThe U.S. Department of Energy states that installing a greywater system allows you to reuse as much as 60 percent of all household water.\r\n\r\nAs touched on previously, already-used water is far better for your plants than using the clean variety, due to its nutrients. This is only one of the reasons why it\u2019s hugely wasteful to irrigate exclusively using drinking water.\r\n\r\nThere are also many other benefits of reusing water, including \u2013\r\n\r\n \tThe amount of wastewater entering on-site treatment systems is reduced, thus minimizing pollution to local bodies of water.\r\n \tThe need for new, and fresh water is reduced, providing savings on household water bills, as well as reducing the strain on public water supplies.\r\n \tGreywater recycling uses less energy when you do it yourself at home.\r\n \tThe process encourages you to use less chemicals in your home, in order not to pollute your greywater.\r\n \tUsing greywater isn\u2019t wasteful.\r\n \tIn areas that experience drought, greywater use is the perfect way to help combat that.\r\n\r\nHow to Use Greywater\r\nThere are various ways greywater can be used, however, it\u2019s important to follow certain rules -\r\n\r\n \tBy far the easiest way of using greywater is to simply pipe it directly into your outdoor spaces to water your plants. No special care needs to be taken when using it on ornamental plants, or even on fruit trees, as you will be watering from the roots.\r\n \tGreywater can be used to water vegetable plants, however, it\u2019s important not to let it touch any edible parts.\r\n \tIt\u2019s imperative to always use only plant-friendly products in your greywater system \u2013 ones without chlorine bleach, boron, or salts, as these can build up in the soil, and damage your plants.\r\n\r\nGreywater Heat Recovery Systems\r\nAccording to the U.S. Department of Energy, all hot water that goes down our drains takes a huge 80 \u2013 90 percent of heat energy with it. This means that we\u2019re actively wasting a huge amount of energy each and every time we use hot water in our homes.\r\n\r\nTo remedy this issue, it\u2019s possible to install a greywater heat recovery system to harness that energy to use it for heating cold water that comes into your home. This enables your water heater to heat more water, and allows you to lower the temperature of the heater.\r\n\r\nThese systems cost in the region of between $300 and $500 on average, and will pay you back within two-and-a-half to seven years.\r\nGreywater Guidelines\r\nAlthough it\u2019s still a water source, greywater is actually very different from fresh water, so it\u2019s important to know the guidelines for reuse.\r\n\r\n \tNever store greywater for more than 24 hours. When greywater is stored for longer than this, it\u2019s nutrients can begin to break down and cause unpleasant odors.\r\n \tDon\u2019t touch greywater too much. Greywater has the potential to be infected by pathogens if feces get into it, therefore you should have a system that is designed for the water to soak directly into the earth, rather than coming into contact with people or animals.\r\n \tAllow greywater to soak into the ground, rather than pooling up. Ensure you understand how well your soil drains so you can design your system with this in mind. When greywater pools, humans and animals can come into contact with it, as well as it providing the perfect conditions for mosquitoes to breed.\r\n \tInstall a 2-way valve. This will make switching between the septic\/sewer system, and the greywater one easy.\r\n \tEnsure your system is as simple as it can possibly be. Simplicity is key when designing your greywater system. Try to avoid filters and pumps that require a lot of upkeep. Remember that simple systems are longer lasting, need less maintenance, cost less, and require less energy to power\r\n\r\nSimple Systems\r\nThere are various simple ways to capture and reuse greywater in your home. These include:\r\n\r\nWashing machine\r\n\r\nArguably the simplest source of greywater to reuse, you can divert the used water from your washing machine without having to do anything to your existing plumbing. This is because every washing machine automatically pumps out water via an internal pump, and this can be harnessed to send the greywater right out to your plants.\r\n\r\nLaundry drum\r\n\r\nA cheap way to divert your washer water to your yard, a laundry drum system allows the wash water to be pumped into a drum with a hose attached to the bottom. Then, all you need to do is to hose around your yard to water your plants.\r\n\r\nLaundry-to-landscape\r\n\r\nThis system is easy to maintain, as well as being flexible, and doesn\u2019t even require you to change anything relating to the plumbing system of your home. What you need to do is to attach your washer drain hose to a diverter valve that enables you to control the greywater flow between the septic\/sewer, and the greywater system.\u00a0From there, the greywater system allows water to flow in directed ways through tubing with outlets that open at specific plants.\r\n\r\nKitchen sinks\r\n\r\nDue to the fact that the kitchen sink is generally high in organic matter, only certain states, like Montana and Oregon, allow the use of greywater from these under their greywater code. It\u2019s also true that this category of greywater can clog your system, therefore if you\u2019re using this type of greywater, it\u2019s important to use branched drain systems that incorporate mulch basins for the organic residue to collect, and decompose.\r\n\r\nBathroom sinks\r\n\r\nIt is possible to combine the greywater from these with the shower water flow. Or alternatively, it can be drained and directed to just a few plants as bathroom sinks don\u2019t tend to generate much water in general.\r\n\r\nShower\r\n\r\nWe all enjoy taking a shower, therefore, it stands to reason that these are a wonderful source of greywater. To harness the water from here, a gravity based no-pump system is ideal; however, if your yard is on a higher level than your home, you\u2019ll need a pump.\r\n\r\nConstructed wetlands\r\n\r\nGreywater isn\u2019t only ideal to be used within your yard, it can also be used to create wetlands, and to nurture plants already in these types of area. Wetlands actively filter particles, and absorb nutrients from greywater, so if you live near a wetland, and have a lot of leftover greywater, you can direct some there.\r\nSome Tips to Begin Greywater Recycling Today\r\nWe\u2019ve looked at various different ways of capturing and using your greywater, however there are other ways in which you can begin today, without needing to set up any equipment at all.\r\n\r\n \tWhen you\u2019re warming up your shower, rather than letting the water flow down the drain, simply capture it in a bucket. The added benefit to doing this, is that you\u2019re actually collecting clean water, rather than greywater, so you can use this in whatever way you would like to!\r\n \tGet into the habit of washing your dishes in a bowl rather than directly in the sink. Ensure you use only all-natural soap and your wash water can go into your composter, and your rinse water can go into your plants.\r\n \tUse a bowl to capture the water leftover from running the faucet to brush your teeth or wash your hands.\r\n \tDon\u2019t throw away those half-filled water bottles that are always lying around in the car, instead, pour it directly onto your plants instead.\r\n \tUse your bathwater for flushing the toilet.\r\n\r\nWith a little imagination, and pre-planning, it\u2019s possible to effectively save, and reuse lots of the water from your home. As a nation, we are depleting the planet of so many of its natural resources each and every day. This is why it\u2019s so important to use every single resource we have to its fullest, while saving as much money as possible.\r\nLink to Us!\r\nIf you found this article useful and shareable, please copy and paste the following into the html code of your website or blog: Learn More About Going Green at the <a href"https:\/\/www.plushbeds.com\/blog\/green\/what-is-greywater-recycling\/">PlushBeds Green Living Blog<\/a>.