An average household of four family members wastes about 300 litres of reusable water per day. South African water systems will not be able to cope for much longer, at the rate things are going. Here are some simple, and effective ways that you can save it without changing your lifestyle.
Researchers say that in less than 20 years, the water demand in South Africa will exceed the available resources. With the growing global population and the increasing demand on available water, South Africans could be looking at permanent water restrictions and penalties in the near future, if measures aren’t taken.
Municipal water used for gardening is estimated at 30-50% of the total domestic water use in South Africa. Let’s be honest, will you allow your beautiful green garden to dry out, and suffer in this heat? That’s why more people are reusing their grey water for gardening.
What is Grey Water?
Grey water is reusable water made up of that from the hand basin, bath, shower and washing machine, that can be used in the garden.
Experts say that many diluted soap residues can provide useful sulphates and nitrates which is more beneficial to plants than clean tap water.
This way, you can save money on costs, ensure your garden has a constant water supply, and reduce impact on drinking water resources.
How to make your own grey water system:
The most cost-effective, easiest DIY method to do this, is to make an adjustment to the grey water pipe, in order to direct the water into the tank.
What you need: 1000L IBC Water Storage Tank, some PVC connectors and extension pipes
Estimated Cost: R300 – R500
Use more biodegradable detergents with your washing.
Reuse water within 2-3 days to eliminate the growth of bacteria and water odours.
Don’t constantly focus on the same area, move the sprinkler around the garden.
Improve the quality of your grey water by using environmentally friendly haircare and body products and soaps.
Bacteria takes longer to grow in moving water. If you can’t use the water fast enough, try installing a grey water pump system or otherwise put in a bit of chlorine instead, but it’s not advisable to use on a regular basis.
Clean the tank on a regular basis to prevent bacteria from growing inside.
It’s advisable to have a grey water filter system to stop the lint and hair from going out. The most cost-effective way to make a filter is to use a sock or nylon stocking at on the end of your drainage pipe which can be discarded afterwards.