Posted in | News | Water | Recycling

Safe Ways to Reuse “Greywater”

As more parts of the world face drought, reusing water in safe ways makes sense. One of these ways is to reuse "greywater" – water that has been used once in showers, bathroom sinks and showers. The Soil Science Society of America's (SSSA) March 1st Soils Matter blog reviews how greywater systems work in yards.

According to blogger Josep Ferrer, who works at Greywater Corps in California, "most of our projects involve retrofitting single family homes to separate grey water from black water. We then set up systems to reuse that greywater to feed plants outside."

"First, we get in the crawlspace under the house and modify the plumbing to separate grey water from black water. From there we install four types of systems, three of which use untreated, raw greywater, meaning no filters and very low maintenance." They are:

Laundry to landscape (L2L): this type of system uses the washing machine's internal pump to move greywater. It can irrigate across level terrain or downhill.

Branched drain (BD): this system uses gravity flow directly from plumbing fixtures to move gray water. It can only irrigate downhill.

Pumped system (PS): pumped systems use a motorized pump to move greywater. They can irrigate uphill.

"Greywater can be applied to a wide range of landscape designs and plant palettes, from verdant tropical reveries to riparian habitats shaded by sycamores, to edible gardens bursting with fruit. In low water gardens, grey water can be applied to key plants like fruit trees, shade trees and perennials. Grey water systems generate large amounts of water and discharge it all at once, so they are best paired with larger plants that can absorb it."

To read the full blog, visit:

2022 marks the 50-year anniversary of the Clean Water Act. This Act aims to restore and maintain the physical, chemical, and biological integrity of the nation's water resources. Soil Science Society of America, Crop Science Society of America, and American Society of Agronomy are celebrating the Act by collecting blogs, news stories and research papers here. Be sure to subscribe to the Soils Matter blog to get updated information:

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