Greywater Systems
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Greywater Systems

Oct 05, 2015
Video Length:  1:08:24
Presented By:  Jake Lott

Water is an extremely important and often scarce resource. Some locales are feeling the scarcity more than others. While "smart" or "efficient" equipment is definitely available to put into your landscape, our upcoming webinar will cover a topic a little off the beaten path – maybe a subject you've thought about but simply haven't explored. Join us in talking about greywater irrigation.


Webinar Contents:

Note: The following catalog of content covered in this webinar is time stamped to allow you to follow along or skip to sections of the video that are relevant to your questions. You can also search for content on this page using the FIND command in your browser (CTRL + F in Windows, Command + F in Mac OS.)

  • What is “Grey Water”?
  • Project Example of a Greywater System


3:20 – 37:29: What is “Grey Water”?

“Grey water”: Water from everyday use – washing machine, shower, bath water, bathroom sink.


“Brown water”: Water from kitchen sink and dishwasher. (Not used as grey water because of possible contamination and toxicity.)


“Black water”: Toilet and sewers


Pros and Cons of Greywater (13:52):


  • Lower wastewater costs
  • Reduces the amount of water that goes to the sewer treatment plant
  • Lower water costs
  • No overhead spray
  • No overspray
  • Reduction of waterway pollution
  • The bigger the property/indoor water use, the faster payback and return on investment
  • After the system is paid off, the system is earning you money each year
  • LEED points
  • Health risks can be avoided by:
    • Passing water slowly through healthy topsoil for natural purification to occur
    • Design the system so no contact takes place before purification



  • Retrofitting onto an existing home may not be cost effective
  • Some household types get more grey water than others
  • No overhead spray (can’t water turf)
  • People assume that implementation is simple, which means greywater systems are often overdesigned and abandoned, or underdesigned and abandoned
  • No storing untreated grey water for more than 24 hours
  • No bleach or hard chemicals
  • Plants might not be able to handle the water created
  • Potential to create health threats if used improperly


Conditions and regulations (24:55)


Greywater System Components (27:00)



Emitter (high-flow)


“Rainwater pillow” (harvesting system)


Question: Grey water has a higher level of salt. How to deal with that? (31:20)

Answer: In actuality, grey water is just harvested potable water, meaning it doesn’t have a higher level of salt. However, if you have a water softener that uses salt, you won’t be able to harvest your grey water.


Question: Do greywater systems require the use of special detergents? (34:25)

Answer: Potentially, yes. Research your detergents carefully.

37:30 – end: Project Example of a Greywater System

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