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What is Grey Water?
Grey water is the
collected wastewater from baths, showers, wash hand basins and washing
machines (although water from washing machines is increasingly not
included in the definition). Personal bathing habits can influence
the potential quantity available for saving mains water. The most
common means of using grey water is to carry relatively clean water
used for washing or rinsing outside and for use in the garden.
water is known as white water and and sewage water is known
as black water.
At this time sophisticated
grey water reuse systems are not widespread in Dublin because:
- of the high cost of the systems.
- the high cost of retro-fitting
to existing premises.
- the cost of maintaining the system.
- until the introduction of domestic
water charges there was no payback on the system.
- of concerns that the quality of
the water may be a health risk.
The of advantages
to a Grey water system are:
- Reduces the demand on the overall
Dublin water supply.
- Reduces demand on the Dublin drainage
- Non-domestic consumers can substantially
reduce annual water bills.
However it is more
economical to try reduce the consumption of water by using more
water efficient appliances and changing user habits. Currently the
installation of grey water reuse technology, together with frequent
maintenance requirements means that it not a financially viable
If you do decide
to install a grey water harvesting system the main items to consider
- The location of collection, treatment
and holding tanks.
- Grey water system tanks need to
be of the appropriate proportions in order to provide a balance
between supply and demand while maintaining a reasonable throughput.
- All pipework carrying treated
grey water must be clearly marked not suitable for human use.
Pumps and Treatment
- Grey water has to be collected
at a low level and then pumped to where it can refill toilet cisterns.
- Where grey water is used in the
home biological treatment and disinfection will be required to
control bacterial growth and provide 'clear' water.
The following maintenance
is required for grey water systems:
- Regular cleaning and maintenance
and removal of debris from filters and from the biological treatment
process is needed.
- Regular visual inspection of the
system components and replacement of filters according to manufacturer's
recommendations is required.
- Ensure mains water top-up is functioning
and protected from contamination.
- Regular checks on grey water disinfection
in accordance with manufacturer's recommendations.
for Grey Water Systems
- Storage tanks must have lockable
lids and/or bars to keep the children and pets out.
- Ensure that there is absolutely
no possibility of contaminating the mains water supply with non-potable
All rainwater harvesting
systems must be approved in advance by the relevant Dublin authority.
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