How Is Gray Water Reused?

How Is Gray Water Reused?

March 10, 2021

The term “gray water” refers to gently used water that flows out the drains in your bathroom sinks, showers and tubs, as well as from your washing machines. This is water that’s never come into contact with feces, meaning it did not come from the toilet or from a laundry machine that was used to wash diapers. A sewer service company in Bay City, MI can point out which fixtures produce gray water and which do not.

In some cases, gray water might contain some traces of dirt, hair, food, grease or cleaning products. Though it looks dirty, it can actually be beneficial for using as irrigation water, which is one way it can be reused on residential and commercial properties.

It’s important to note here that gray water that gets released into natural waterways would be considered a pollutant, but when used for watering plants, it can act as a valuable fertilizer and save you a good deal of money on your water bill.

How do you go about reusing gray water? Here’s an overview of what you should know.

About reusing gray water

The best way to reuse gray water is to send pipes carrying it directly outside, and to use it on ornamental plants or trees. In some cases, it can be used to irrigate vegetable plants, but it should not touch any edible parts of the plant.

Make sure your gray water system does not have any products that contain excessive amounts of bleach, boron or salt, as these substances can cause irreversible damage to your plants and potentially be toxic to your own health.

Here are a few basic guidelines for you to consider when setting up any type of gray water reuse system:

  • Don’t store it: Gray water should not be stored for more than 24 hours. Doing so will result in the nutrients breaking down and releasing foul odors.
  • Minimize contact: Avoid coming into contact with gray water. If feces somehow got into the water, that gray water could contain harmful pathogens. The system should be designed in such a way that the water soaks into the ground and does not pose any risk of physical contact with people or animals.
  • Never let it pool up: The system should be designed so the gray water infiltrates the ground, and never runs off or pools up. You should have an understanding of how well water drains in your soil, and this will help you create a proper design for the system. Keep in mind that if you let it pool, not only does this pose a health risk, but it could also attract mosquitoes and other pests that you’d rather avoid.
  • Valves: Install an easy valve for switching between gray water systems and sewer/septic systems. You won’t need your gray water system to be in operation at all times.
  • Know irrigation needs: Know the irrigation needs of your plants so you can match the gray water they get with their needs.
  • Keep it simple: Avoid using pumps or filters that you’ll need to maintain. A simple system will last longer, not need as much maintenance, be less expensive to install and most likely get more usage.

For more information about reusing gray water, contact Thornton Brothers Sewer Service in Bay City, MI today.

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2476 Larry Ln
Bay City, MI 48706

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