Happy World Water Day AWARE viewers! In 1993 the United Nations General Assembly declared March 22nd of each year World Water Day. As members of AWARE it is our mission to share our professional and citizen knowledge of water quality management practices with our local watershed residents and community leaders. This year the theme for World Water Day is "Why waste water?" and how how to reduce wastefulness of our water resources and the reuse of wastewater. For AWARE's purpose, we will focus on the reuse of household wastewater, or better known as grey water.
Grey water is wastewater that has not come in contact with feces. It is "gently" used waste water from our household sinks, showers, tubs, and washing machines. Grey water may contain traces of grease, dirt, food, and household cleaning products, but is still safe to use as a watering source for our landscaping, flowers, plants, and lawn. Grey water can be used to water vegetable gardens as long as it does not come in contact with the edible parts of the plant. Depending on where you live and based on local building and/or plumbing codes and health department regulations, grey water reuse from sinks, showers, and tubs may or may not be permissible. So check with your local codes and regulations first!!
In the event your area allows for greywater reuse, a simple start can begin with your washing machine. Assuming one does not use chlorine bleach or harsh laundry detergent (most if not all are phosphate free) a simple disconnection of the discharge hose is all it takes. Of course you will need to provide an alternative direction for the discharge, so it is appropriate to suggest a containment system. Think of a rain barrel setup outside accepting the discharge water from your washing machine!
For more information about greywater reuse, the Ohio State University Extension has a fact sheet available to view here.
Are there ways you are preventing wastefulness of our water resources? Let us know by simply sending us a message on the "Share Your Thoughts!" link on our blogsite.