MEDIA RELEASE 11 October 2005
Need for a re-think on use of household grey water
There is need for an urgent re-think on the use of treated domestic grey
water (shower, washing machine and dishwasher water) as an important component
of water conservation, according to Andrew Pearce, CEO of water specialists New
“From a legislative point of view, local councils and governments typically have
got it all wrong, because there is no legislation prohibiting the use of
untreated grey water, but there is legislation limiting the use of treated grey
“In addition, the legislation is different in the various states,” said Andrew
“In fact, untreated grey water can be an environmental hazard because many of
the chemicals used in washing machines and dishwashers could end up in the
garden and eventually enter the water table.
“People literally extend a hose from their washing machine into their garden and
this is not beneficial for the environment as it acts as a pollutant.
“We believe legislation should encourage people to use treated grey water in
their homes, which studies have shown can be even more beneficial in terms of
conserving water than rainwater tanks.
“Treated grey water removes the nasty chemicals that could be contained in
untreated grey water, which also makes it suitable for use in washing machines,
toilets, as well as for use in the garden and for washing the car.
“Of course the community also needs to overcome any perceptions about whether
using grey water for these sorts of application is safe. The fact is that a
proper treatment process will bring grey water to Class A standard.
“We believe the best and most environmentally friendly form of grey water
treatment is in the use of a biological process as a primary mechanism, which
doesn’t require regular discharges to the sewer system. This should be combined
with the use of a secondary chemical, such as bromine, which is also mild on the
environment and guarantees that there is no regrowth of harmful bacteria in the
water being stored,” said Pearce.
A recent study by the CSIRO found that on-site grey water treatment systems
resulted in greater reductions in potable water demand compared to rainwater
New Water is a water specialist company that provides rainwater tank and grey
water solutions to domestic properties throughout Australia.
Released for New Water by Dennis Rutzou Public Relations. For further
information please call David Lizzio or
Dennis Rutzou on (02) 9413 4244.