Using Greywater in the Garden

Greywater is domestic waste water from activities such as laundry, dishwashing, and bathing. Unlike sewage water (which is referred to as blackwater), greywater can be safely recycled for use in the landscape without the use of any special treatment systems. Because we use large amounts of this type of water for daily household activitiesthe average bathtub uses 26 gallonsin extreme drought conditions greywater can be a great way to conserve water.

Feet near shower drain

Greywater to Use and Greywater to Avoid:

The organic contaminants in some greywater, such as food particles, can supply plants with valuable nutrients for growth. However, greywater that is heavily contaminated with salt, soap residues, fats, or grease can be toxic (to both microbial and plant life) and should be avoided. Some types of domestic greywater are better than others for use in the garden. In order of preference they are: shower, bathtub, bathroom sink, and utility sink, provided bleaches or strong detergents have not been used. Water from dishwashers and washing machines is not safe to use as it contains too much detergent. Depending on your homes air quality, the water you collect from your dehumidifier may also be used. In fact, water from this source can actually be better for your plants than the water from your tap. Unlike tap water, a dehumidifier condenses water vapor out of the air so it contains none of the dissolved minerals that are sometimes present in tap water. Its unsafe for human consumption as there may be bacteria growing in it, but it should be fine to use on your plants.

Do NOT use greywater on the following:

Tips for Using Greywater:

About The Author: Ellen Brown is an environmental writer and photographer and the owner of Sustainable Media, an environmental media company that specializes in helping businesses and organizations promote eco-friendly products and services. Contact her on the web at

Add your voice! Click below to comment on this post or add your answer to this question. ThriftyFun is powered by your wisdom.

In This Article
woman watering in her garden
Using Greywater in the Garden
Next >︎
Home and Garden Gardening IrrigationJanuary 28, 2012
More to Explore
ThriftyFun on Facebook
ThriftyFun on Pinterest
Enter a Contest
Free Newsletters
Ask a Question
Share a Post
Related Guides
English daisies.
Taking Photos of Your Garden
Garden Flag
Using Garden Flags
Garden Flag
Making Garden Flags
Rice paper butterfly on small pink flowers
Making a Butterfly Garden
© 1997-2016 by Cumuli, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Published by . Page generated on June 19, 2016 at 2:03:52 AM on in 544 msecs. Use of this web site constitutes acceptance of ThriftyFun's Disclaimer and Privacy Policy. If you have any problems or suggestions feel free to Contact Us.
To Top
Loading Something Awesome!