Australia is the world’s driest habitable continent and as of late the dams near major cities have begun to dry up. This has caused widespread debate on what can be done, and the most efficient and practical suggestion has been to recycle domestic grey water.
Grey water comes from showers, dishwashers, washing machines, and the like. There is nothing wrong with it that cannot be eliminated using various techniques. Once it’s treated it is quite suitable for use on gardens.
Why are we watching this valuable resource flow down the drains when it can be recycled and save thousands of megalitres of pure water?
Many areas of Australia are on water restrictions, meaning that outdoor hoses are being eliminated, and yet, we are still letting a huge proportion of our water escape without being recycled. While we are still in the clutches of an extremely long drought, we need to take action to save this valuable resource.
There are many ways to convert grey water into water suitable for human consumption. The first and most controversial in Australia is called Reverse Osmosis. This is the finest type of purification that has ever been discovered, and can remove anything up to an ion from a substance.
Reverse Osmosis is the best but unfortunately the most expensive way of recycling grey water and huge recycling plants are in the process of being established to produce water that is fit for human consumption.
The reason that it is controversial is that some places, such as Toowoomba in Queensland have had strong opposition to putting in a plant because of lack of knowledge and ignorance. To see how controversial it can be, pay a visit to Toowoomba Recycled Water – Debating the Issue .
However, most of us are not going to use our recycled grey water for human consumption so we need something that is effective and inexpensive to recycle our grey water.
Fortunately there are many different kinds of store-bought products that can be purchased that will effectively clean grey water to usable levels. Some use sand filtration and pump straight from the laundry to the garden, whereas others take the water into a large tank where it is split between garden watering and flushing the toilet.
You will find some interesting suggestions and ideas on setting up your own recycling system for grey water in a fact sheet on the ABC’s Gardening Australia website.
At a time when Australia is facing unprecedented levels of drought and possibly the worse to come, we are using more and more water than ever before. Now is the time that we need to be making the water we have work harder. In fact we need to make it work twice as hard; first drinking water and again as grey water.
Of course you can go to the expense of treating grey water but it can be used to water gardens and lawns without any treatment and that can save us money. The cost of pure water is going to increase and soon the cost of watering your garden or lawn will become an economic burden on many households
Australia is suffering at the hands of a countrywide drought. The least we can do is recycling the water that we have. If not, and the good rains don’t return then disaster could occur. There is always the possibility of rain, but there is no certainty.
Grey water is the only viable solution that we can start using right now…