Grey Water

UnPacking Grey Water

Call me ignorant but I’ve only recently, truly discovered, how much water goes down the drain…


At the back of my mind I’ve always been waiting for a house where we settle down, to set up pipes from the drains to the garden but only until recently did I start using buckets to cart the used bath water to our garden. 20 days later and I’m getting pretty quick at it – strap on your health watch and get those steps people!

Our garden has had no grass – and it just suddenly dawned on me – a bunch of family sneezing and allergies later, that the best thing to try do its to take the grey water and put it all over the sand so that the dust could stop… actually it was the hectic August winds blowing the sand everywhere that got me thinking to water it. Amazing how dof you feel after for not thinking of it sooner! I mean I’ve been throwing my plunger coffee grinds and the odd dishwater into the garden, so I don’t know why it took me so long to twig!

My mind, and my back, has discovered something quite scary… I thought my bath was so small! I feel like it’s a coffin.

I realised that I use about 8 to 10 buckets of water from my bath and one bucket from my shower! As they say in Korea “Jinjja!!” Seriously!

If we try get mathematical quickly –

I reckon my one bucket is about a 9.6l and the other a bit bigger – so let’s just round off to 10l. That’s 8 to 10, 10l buckets a day – that’s around 80 litres of bath water just going down the drain daily! You can just calculate how much water we could be using in our gardens per household!

I’ve decided I feel much, much better taking a shower now and I am grateful it’s moving to warmer months so that I don’t need to use the “soak in a hot bath to heat up excuse anymore”.

And, by using grey water for our gardens, I have had to concentrate on the products we are using in the baths and to clean the dishes with, because if those chemicals are not 100% natural then I’d be putting that mess into my garden, flower beds and veggie patch…

A big, big initiative to Waste Less and Refuse more!

PS the grass is growing and coming green nicely…


Until next time…

waste less • refuse more

Comments (4)
  1. Dani 4 years ago

    Not sure where you live, but if it is anywhere in the Western Cape then baths are out 🙁 Showers are recommended, And for babies, either a big tub in the bath, or a baby bath adapter (e.g.

    Why not join a water shedding FB group – there are hundreds of brilliant idea’s re: saving / using grey water. Just need to know which province you’re in, and I steer you to the appropriate group. This is the Western Cape one: have a browse what gets discussed 😉

    • Colette Plaska 4 years ago

      Hi Dani,
      Thank you for sharing your information.
      I’m in Bedfordview, Gauteng.
      I believe water restrictions are back on here but not as bad as CT – I pray for rain for you all! I consciously aim to fill sinks and reuse water as much as possible instead of letting taps run. It’s so easy to forget how precious water is because we don’t have to “work” to get it – we just open a tap.

  2. Lisa 4 years ago

    I’ve been running my grey water into the garden since the beginning of last year, shortly after I moved to Parys (I used to live in Bedford Gardens, neighbour). I don’t know why I didn’t do it earlier – but what a change it has made!

    I bought some lengths of 50mm PVC pipe from the plumbing shop and a bunch of connectors – elbows and straights. I’m fortunate that the outside drain faces onto the back garden so instead of the water from the bathrooms (showers and basins) and washing machine going down the drain, I connected a pipe to the outlet and the water just runs straight into the garden. We have a small garden (maybe 5mx5m) and with the water infiltrating the lawn every day, we have green grass all year round. I change the configuration of the pipe here and there to change where the water goes to.

    I also divert the water from the kitchen sink straight on to lawn too. I don’t divert the water from the dishwashing machine; I’ve heard the dishwashing powder isn’t good for the lawn? Rreminder to self to find a garden-friendly alternative!!!

    It isn’t the neatest system having white pipes lying on the lawn, but it is very effective, inexpensive and it works perfectly.

    • Colette Plaska 4 years ago

      I can’t wait to one day be able to divert my water. Carrying buckets is hard hehe. I’m even cringing now when I look at the water I use with dishes etc – I wish I could divert the sink water. Defo when I get a house one day!


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