As with rainwater storage systems greywater recycling systems come in many different types of varying expense and capacities.
All greywater recycling systems make use of greywater; water that has been used in residential uses except for the toilet. Examples would be the water used for washing cloths or bathing. Water used for washing dishes and kitchen cleaning is sometimes associated with blackwater because of the higher amounts of micro-organisms present, but in any case, generally greywater recycling system makes use of this wastewater for landscape irrigation. The topsoil naturally has good bacteria that will purify the water as it percolates through the soil. Greywater recycling is more challenging in areas that to not have well-drilling soil but techniques like constructing a planted wetland can still make greywater recycling viable.
For those interested contact Grants Gardens or take a trip to the Florida House Learning Center located at the Sarasota technical institute. The Florida House makes use of greywater recycling to irrigate the landscape plants that require high water use like banana trees.
Recycling greywater has many benefits including:
Reduced fresh water used for landscape irrigation
Depending on the household a sizable amount of the irrigation needs of a Florida home can be met by using greywater
Reduce strain on the septic system or treatment plant
Nearly 80% of all household water use ends up as greywater. By using this water for irrigation and removing from the septic system, larger families can avoid overloading their septic systems or reduce their impact on treatment plants.
Areas that are using a sewer system will have the water from the greywater system percolating down to help recharge the local groundwater.
Improved Water quality
The natural processes in the soils will treat water better than a man-made sewer treatment system and prevent the recycled greywater from ending up way from the location it was used
having a steady reliable source of water can grow plants in dry areas faster and healthier
Nutrients in greywater will be broken down by bacteria in the soil and converted into food for plants. This will improve the fertility of the soil for better growing conditions
Greywater recycling is not for every situation and has the following requirements
- Proper greywater recycling requires that plenty of space is available.
- The selected areas must have soil that will drain properly
- Areas that are too wet or too close to a body of water or that flood regularly
Types of Greywater Irrigation Systems
Drain to mulch to drain basin
- Very simple, Low Cost, Easy Installation
- Connects multiple Drain to mulch basins
- Higher capacity
- Disperses water to multiple locations automatically
- Irrigates larger area
- Used in areas with low soil drainage capacity
- Ideal in wetter climates
- Larger volume of water treated
- Poor choice for dry climates