Household waste water that has not likely to be highly contaminated with pathogens is known as greywater. The class of water includes wastewater from bathtubs, showers, wash basins, washing machines and laundry tubs.
Greywater represents typically around 65% of total domestic wastewater volume. The opportunity exists for greywater to be reused for irrigation and toilet flushing, thereby reducing town water demands. Greywater is relatively high in nutrient content, and potentially includes pathogens, harmful chemicals and salts.
Adequate treatment and application measures are required to protect public health and the environment. Generally treatment, storage and overflow facilities are required, as well as assessment of the land capability to sustain effluent application. Owner management and careful selection of washing products to reduce harmful chemicals is also required.
A prohibition on greywater reuse in sewered areas was lifted in Queensland in October 2004 to allow use for garden watering. In early 2006, qldwater and LGAQ developed an industry position paper dealing with grey water reuse legislation. Subsequently, in 2007, State Policy began to change rapidly to create the ne Queensland Plumbing and Wastewater Code (QPWC), causing concern for many Service Providers. qldwater advocated on behalf of Service Providers and produced a FactSheet on the changes, the reasons behind them and how members could respond to minimise their risks. We also collated a joint industry response on the Draft QPWC.
The involvement of qldwater in this process resulted in accurate technical input to the State' processes and provided a mechanism for collating feedback from Service Providers. The result was a more suitable regulatory framework for greywater reuse providing future savings for Councils in the forms of costs and risks avoided.
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