Graywater is created by bathing, doing laundry or washing dishes. It is water that is not clean, but is also not sewage. It contains some dirt and, usually, some detergents. This water is fine for watering flowers, lawns and vegetable gardens, though care must be taken to avoid use on root vegetables.
While the idea of graywater reuse is straightforward in concept, the initial investigation into how to do it can lead to a daunting level of complexity. In-ground storage tanks, pumps, filtering systems and divided plumbing can lead one to believe that only a major home remodeling effort can accommodate the use of recycled water. Actually, with study of the available options, one can begin water reuse almost immediately with relatively simple modifications to existing plumbing.
That being said, the choices are still diverse and the technology anywhere from simplicity itself to advanced filtering and reuse systems with sophisticated water flow check valves and multistage filtering. Before choosing from the myriad of solutions available, one should study the issue seriously. It is important to know exactly what uses can be safely made of graywater, how to protect the home from inadvertent misuse of the recycled water and, of course, the financial tradeoffs: installation cost versus long-term savings.
Informative websites can be found easily with the search term: “graywater”. Some are overview sites that talk about water reuse and are a good place to start. Others are “how to” descriptions of home-designed, home-built solutions. You will also find company websites selling materials and even self-contained units.
In some areas, courses in sustainable living are available that address using recycled water, all the issues involved and the various choices you can make for each. These classes are well worth the time and money spent. The knowledge gained allows you to make choices that are appropriate to your home and your water reuse goals.