Setting up a Greywater recycling system is an excellent way to save water and money. Water from bathing which would otherwise go down the drain for expensive sewage treatment can instead be used to water plants in the garden. With ever increasing numbers of hosepipe bans, increased utility bills, and water metering there is no reason to let your garden wilt.
Greywater Recycling Systems
A permanent domestic greywater recycling system can be set up using a diverter valve fitted directly to the waste pipe from the bathroom. Though cheap and relatively easy to implement, it requires some DIY skills and is not usually a practical option if you are living in rented accommodation.
The WaterGreen (Droughbuster) Syphon Pump
Pictured above is an elegant and simple solution to the problem. The WaterGreen Syphon Pump is simply a 3.5m tube with a built in syphon primer bulb and a standard hosepipe fitting on the end. One end of the tube is placed in the bath to be emptied (ideally after it has cooled), and the other end fed through the bathroom window and connected to a standard hosepipe. A few squeezes on the syphon primer bulb (see photo below) draws the bath water upwards.
As soon as the water reaches the bathroom window it will be drawn down through through the tube to the hosepipe by gravity by the syphon effect. As long as the water out end of the hosepipe is at least 60cm (2 feet) BELOW the height of the bottom of the bath, water will continue to be sucked out of the bath with no further need to manually pump. The higher the bath above the height of the garden, the faster the water will flow out of the bath.
The WaterGreen can then be left unattended – for example, while you water the garden – and the bath will be emptied in a matter of minutes.
If you want to save the water for later use it can be stored in a suitable vessel, for example, if you would like to water the plants and lawn in the evening, or to use it in a porous pipe irrigation system. However if the water is not filtered and disinfected (with a couple of tablespoons of bleach per gallon) before it reaches the storage vessel it will start to smell in warm weather. Ideally use the water as soon as possible and do NOT use it to water edible crops (fruit, vegetables, herbs, etc) – use collected rainwater instead.
NEW Click here to read the REUK review of the Watergreen.