Re-using your grey water.

In May of 2006 I moved into our new house that is on a 2ha paddock block. The block had been used for cattle farming and had no trees or plants on it. In July of that year I started planting native trees around the block and gardens closer to the house. The plan was that the gardens and trees would grow up and turn this paddock into a wooded oasis. But I was not factoring in that we were in the middle of one of the worst droughts in recorded history.

Living out of town there is no town sewage. We have a Garden Master sewage system that pumps out the waste as grey water through a sprinkler system. The sprinkler is on a 30 metre long hose that has to be moved around the lawn every couple of days. Our fresh water supply is a 20,000 litre plastic water tank off the side of the house. It gathers rain water from the roof and a limited low flow town water supply. Therefore using the fresh water supply for the garden was competing with our domestic needs.

 I had seen an 80 litre wheeled bin converted to a grey water tank in a gardening store. The bin had a tap at the bottom and a hole in the lid. The store wanted about $150 for the bin. I took one look at the bin and realised that I could easily make one.

I than went to the local hardware and bought the following:

#180litre plastic wheeled bin 

#Plastic tank tap kit 

#20 mm hole drill

#Brass tap 

#Hose attachments

Costing about $120

Tools required:

#cordless drill

#hack saw

I cut a hole into the bin and pushed the pipe through from the inside. I had to lay the bin over and climb inside while my wife screwed the outside nut and rubber washer onto the pipe the thread.

Once the pipe was secured to the bin I measured the minimum length required to screw the bass tap onto the screw thread. I used my hack saw to cut the pipe down to size before screwing the bass tap on. I then attached a plastic screw thread for the hose attachment. Now I was ready to use it.

I disconnected the grey water sprinkler and put the hose into the top of the bin. I closed the lid on the hose and put a brick on the lid to stop the hose sliding back out. I could have cut a hole in the lid but I wanted the lid in one piece, in case I wanted the bin for another purpose when the drought finally breaks. 

I placed the bin up hill from the gardens and trees I wanted to water and waited for the bin to fill up with grey water. I then attached a hose and opened the tap to water the garden by hand. The flow of the water was low but if you have the time to put the hose on the garden or trees for while it is a good way to get a deep soaking. One of the draw backs with the wheel bin is that it weighs 180kg once full and can not be moved. If water is a concern on your property it is worth considering using grey water .

Posted by Mr Candy’s Family.

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