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Grey Water



Hi All

Whilst everyone has been thinking about Solar solutions aver the lat 9+ months, I took a serious look at where I could reduce my water consumption.

Since my last formal post, the Western Cape region of South Africa has gone through some severe water crisis's, even having to drop their water usage to 50l or less per day. I set my household a challenge last December, and that was to support the principal of surviving on under 50l of water per day per person. To date at September 2019, we have kept to that valuable water restriction amongst ourselves and we keep trying (sometimes succeeding) to get others to follow our simple lead.

So far our household has had a great day of down to 25l per person, but we have also had some bad days that go up to 70l per person. Although I fight about the high value of 70l, we are still well below the minimum applied by the Western Cape government at the time.

So how did my dysfunctional family (yes, we are all dysfunctional in some way or another sometimes) achieve this goal???:
1. Sounds simple, but we used a bucket that stayed under the shower head while bathing in the morning. Nothing weird, but that water would be used for flushing toilets... Even the little bit while waiting for water to heat up made at least 1 full flush of the toilet...
2. Heating the water - I am adamant that solar water heating via any type of heating panel is way more useful than an electrical solar solution.Our water use/waste dropped from a small 9kl per month to 4kl per month without the rainwater backup. This was already in place...
3. Grey Water - This shit is ugly, it really looks like it is going to mess up everything it touches....
    3a. Toilet Flushing - This is the most horrible use of fresh water, 20+ liters just to flush... So that a toilet bowel looks pretty... We recovered this from every bit of grey water we could. This included shower/bathroom water and any basin water. Flushing a toilet seems to be a huge waste of water resources,
    3b. Unfiltered Grey Water from just shower - Can be used to flush toilets (as an estimate - with some excel results), people can save between 1Kl to 9Kl of clean water per month. Done and proven,
    3c. With Grey water filters we can even drop what we currently use to lower... Just need storage and filters which cost a lot.
    3d. So far we shower and capture grey water from shower into bucket - We use this water for flushing toilet... Not brilliant but we save about 200l per day +.
4. Grey Water Filters are Expensive! - One thing about Grey water is that it stinks after a while. To use grey water within a reasonable timeframe, you have to use it within a day or two. If you go loose like me then expect to have some very smelly situations and some very ugly smells when the grey water goes "bad" or rotten smelling... We have learnt this lesson, but personally decided against the the high cost. I know I am not following my own advise here, but setting up a grey water collector and filter will still save you and your home a lot of money, time and water... please use proper diligence to investigate. Our greywater only comes from showers and washing machine, but it still need attention to not get rotten smell attached.

Ok, out for tonight, will add more later...


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I've stopped using grey water for flushing. It not only smells, it tends to stain the toilet bowl. I'm lucky however, I have a well point and with a bit of treatment that works very well for toilets and even for laundry.

The grey water now simply goes out into the garden (what the well point was used for in the past).

For water treatment, I simply treat the water with ozone and let it stand for about a day, then pump it through a 5 micron filter. Done.

Edited by plonkster
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