Grey Water Frequently Asked Questions
Grey Water FAQ's
Where can Grey Water Systems be installed ?
We install different types of grey water systems; they can be installed anywhere, but it’s obviously cheaper if the filtration chamber can be installed at the lowest grey water outlet, usually the shower. If that’s the case then we use gravity to drive the grey water to the underground filtration chamber. If this is not possible then we install in a different way which costs more, but bottom line; it an be installed anywhere.
Can the grey water piping be concealed within the walls ?
If you are building a new house, then these pipes are easily concealed. Your plumber simply brings all sources of grey water to the position best suited. As far as a retro-fit is concerned, most of the pipes are hidden underground.
What are the implications regarding any toxic levels to the plants or animals in your garden using grey water?
We recommend low or phosphate free washing powders and avoid the use of fabric softeners, and sodium hypochlorite (JIK). We never take water from dishwashing machines, so the abrasive nature of the dishwashing detergent is not of concern. All dishwashing water must go into the sewer.
Who provides the grey water pipe work?
Our quotes include all pipes, fittings etc. When we are finished with the installation you shouldn’t have to do anything else / different. Just enjoy recycling your grey water.
How much does the grey water system cost?
It depends on the type of installation; do you want a simple cost effective little system without removing the bacteria or do you want to remove the bacteria, store the water and connect it to an existing irrigation system? It can be used for irrigation only (cheaper) or it can be filtered accordingly and used for toilet flushing as well. In some cases there’s more grey water than needed for a single application then we split it e.g. irrigation AND toilet flushing. Wetlands recycling systems are lovely for bigger properties and the smaller entry level systems work well where space is an issue. Normal home owners can look at anything between R 12 000 – R 150 000 (fully installed). Factories, mines, laundries, washbays – all the bigger recycling systems are designed and quoted accordingly.
What do I get for my hard earned money?
A system that suits your budget, recycles all your grey water and makes you feel better about yourself – you are conserving water and working towards a greener future. We pride ourselves in the fact that we are a one-stop shop and although it’s messy when we are there, once we leave you should be happy and satisfied. Pipes are installed underground, we lift and replace all paving (very neatly too!) we do the electrical connections, we provide back-up and maintenance and guarantee all our workmanship and products.
If I have a Fynbos garden, should I use grey water?
Provided that you adhere to the rules of what to use in your house, grey water is good quality water for Fynbos.
Can I use my irrigation that I already have with my grey water system?
The entry level system doesn’t remove the bacteria in which case it cannot be stored and linked to an irrigation system, but with the more advanced systems, incl. wetlands, yes you can.
Do I have to move a hose around all the time with my grey water system?
Only with the very basic entry level system.
What size pump does the grey water system use?
It depends on the system installed.
Can I mix the rain and the grey water?
Yes you can, but precaution must be taken. In some cases it is easy and in other cases not possible.
Can I store the grey water in a larger tank?
Entry level systems : No.
More advanced systems : Yes
How long does the grey water system take to install?
Between 1 – 3 days for an ‘average’ house (smaller systems) to a few weeks (bigger plants)
Does the grey water give off an odour?
If the system isn’t maintained properly then yes, it will give off an odour. We do provide maintenance instructions with each installation and explain in detail how to maintain the system with hand-over.
We have four bathrooms. Can we use the grey water from all the areas?
We are specialists in delivering all your grey water from your house to where this water needs to be delivered. We always try our best to harvest all the possible sources of grey water.
Is the grey water bad for the garden? What detergents should I use?
No, provided that our instructions are followed regarding detergent agents, grey water isn’t bad for your garden. Most detergents contain by weight up to one third pure phosphates which will build up in the soil, and be toxic over say ten years of continuous use. Rather use a phosphate free washing powder e.g. EcoSoft or Bioclassics (phosphate free version) which are environmentally friendly, making it safe for your garden. You may use soda ash, or washing soda that will do just as well to emulsify oils and fats in the laundry.