Grey Water

Grey Water

Greywater is water that is recycled from domestic use within the home. This can include water from baths, showers, washing machines and hand basins. Use of greywater on gardens and lawns can help keep gardens alive during periods of low rainfall, however, it is important to understand just how this may affect your garden and your environment.

Greywater contains chemicals and bacteria and if used incorrectly, it can put your soil, your plants, your pets and your family at risk. Some key points to consider include:

  • The safest greywater is from the rinse cycle in your washing machine
  • Do not store greywater for more than 24 hours as bacteria in greywater can rapidly multiply 
  • Keep greywater away from children, pets and people by applying it directly to the ground
  • Do not apply groundwater to food that is eaten raw
  • Choose laundry detergents carefully if using greywater from the washing machine. Detergents should be low in phosphorus and salts
  • Move your greywater around your garden so nutrients and salts in the water can be diluted

As defined in the Plumbing and Drainage Act 2018, Division 5 - 79, the owner must ensure that:

  • Greywater does not cause an odour that unreasonably interferes, or is likely to unreasonably interfere with the use or enjoyment of any other premises; and
  • Any ponding or run-off of the greywater does not cause a danger or health risk to anyone.
  • Manually bucket to reuse any bath water to an established garden or pot plant
  • Manually bucket to reuse any shower water to an established garden or pot plant
  • Manually bucket to reuse any laundry water to an established garden or pot plant
  • Use of a temporary flexible hose from the discharge of a washing machine to gravity feed/surface broadcast an established garden.
  • Reuse of kitchen greywater
  • There are risks involved with the use of greywater and any breach of the Act may incur a penalty under the Act.
  • For clarification regarding the use of greywater in your home please contact your preferred licenced plumber.

Additional information regarding Council Plumbing & Drainage requirements can be found here.

For helpful guidelines, fact sheets and general information on the use of greywater, please visit the following sites My Smart Garden, Business Queensland and Gardening Australia.

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