Environmental issues are constantly being discussed. Whether in daily conversation or media coverage, the discussions expose us to a lot of technical jargon. Yet, it is because of the technical terms accompanying such stories that it can be difficult to properly analyze these reports and therefore form an educated opinion around the subject. The GrowWNY team, the WNY Environmental Alliance members, and other community experts are sharing their knowledge to help decode environmental terminology for any of those who may still be confused when reading headlines.
Greywater - The water collected from your bathroom sinks, showers, tubs, and washing machines.
Greywater should not be confused with black water, which is wastewater used in toilets and designated for sewage systems. Greywater may contain traces of dirt, food, grease, hair, and certain household cleaning products. While greywater may look “mucky,” it is a safe and even beneficial source of irrigation water in a yard. There are many simple, economical ways to reuse greywater in your yard.
Greywater collection and distribution systems can be simple or complex. The basic components of a greywater system include:
Distribution: Used to direct greywater into toilets or an irrigation system. Can include drip irrigation or subsurface irrigation trenches for landscaping etc,
Diverters: Connected to water pipes to direct waste water from indoor systems into the greywater system
Filter: Can be added to remove soap, food particles, dirt and sand, debris, and other larger contaminants from the greywater
Overflow: Prevents greywater from overloading the system by directing excess into the sewer system
Pump: For pushing greywater through the distribution network, though some rely solely on gravity
Surge tank: A temporary holding vessel for containing greywater until it is needed
Treatment: A filtration system to further purify greywater by removing any remaining contaminants to make greywater suitable for irrigation
Benefits to installing a greywater system in your home or office building:
- Provides locally-generated water
- Lowers requirements for extracting water from local water systems
- Reduces impact and demand on sewage & water treatment plants
- It is a means for recharging groundwater systems
- Reduces and saves energy needed to convey water through conventional systems
Let us know if you have any specific words you would like us to define or clarify in the comment section here or on our Facebook page.