How to collect and use greywater in your garden

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Up your sustainability game by recycling greywater for your garden.

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Ezy Storage Assorted Colours Storage Tub – 16L

Holman 34mm x 10m Greywater Hose

Montgomery 57L Green and Grey Storage Container With Flip Lid

Yates Greywater Fertiliser

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Greywater is the waste water from showers, baths, spas, hand-basins, laundry tubs and washing machines. Once treated, it can be used on your garden, reducing your water usage and bills. In fact, it's estimated that just over half of household water used could be recycled as greywater, saving potentially hundreds of litres of water per day!

Before you start saving every drop, it’s important to understand exactly what can and what can’t be used, and how to make sure it’s used best in your garden.

products for treating greywater sitting on deck

1. Identify greywater around your home

The first thing you need to do is identify the water you can use from around your home. Avoid using water from dishwashers and kitchen sinks. This type of water is known as dark greywater, because it has a higher concentration of chemicals, fats and other organic matter that isn’t good for your garden. Water from toilets is called blackwater and isn’t safe to use in your garden.

laundry with washing machine and sink

2. Collect your greywater

There are some simple ways to collect the greywater from around your home.

If you have a shower over a bath, then simply insert the plug into the bath before you shower. At the end of the shower you’ll be able to use a bucket to transfer the water outside. If you don't have a bath under your shower, grab a large tub that can be placed in the bottom of the shower to collect the excess water.

Redirecting the used water from your washing machine is a great way to collect greywater. Simply get the water outlet hose that is usually directed towards a drain and place it in a large bucket. Remember to keep an eye on the bucket as your washing machine goes through its cycle to make sure it doesn’t overflow.

Another great way to collect your greywater is from your laundry sink or bathroom basins. Once you have finished using the water in your sink, use a bucket to scoop out the water to take outside.

filling up a bucket in the bath

3. Treat your water

Once you have collected greywater from around your home, you need to treat the water prior to distributing it around your garden. We are using Yates Greywater Fertiliser, which has multiple benefits. It helps neutralise the effect of alkaline soaps and detergents on soil pH, contains a bactericide to kill unwanted microbes in greywater and it has added nitrogen and potassium to create a balanced fertiliser to feed plants and lawns and encourage healthy growth.

To treat the water, add 20–40mL of Yates Greywater Fertiliser for every 10L of greywater, and then apply around non-edible plants every 2 to 4 weeks.

measuring greywater fertiliser and pouring into a bucket

4. Try it on your lawn

If you have a lot of green foliage in your garden or plan to use greywater on your lawns, it also contains chelated iron to promote deep green foliage and lawns.

pouring water from watering can onto garden

Tip

It’s really important that you don't store greywater on your property. So make sure you use it as soon as you collect it!

Start collecting greywater today

From buckets to tubs, there are plenty of ways to collect greywater. Check out our range.

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Health & Safety

Please make sure you use all equipment appropriately and safely when following the advice in these D.I.Y. videos. You need to be familiar with how to use equipment safely and follow the instructions that came with the equipment. If you are unsure, you may feel it is safest to consult an expert, such as the manufacturer or an expert Bunnings Team Member.

Grave health hazards are linked to asbestos, which may be in homes built up to 1990. Health hazards may result from exposure to lead-based paints in older materials and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer or visit our Health & Safety page. You can also use a simple test kit from Bunnings to indicate the presence of lead-based paint.
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