Greywater is another name for household wastewater from the laundry, shower, bath, and bathroom sink. Greywater also includes kitchen sink and dishwasher wastewater. This source is not used in household recycling systems because it can contain high levels of food scraps, grease and fat. Greywater does not include toilet wastewater, which is referred to as blackwater.  

In areas where there are severe water shortages and restrictions, greywater can be used on the garden, without further treatment, for limited periods. Long-term use is not recommended: if you want to permanently recycle your greywater it is advisable to install a greywater treatment system.


If you choose to use untreated greywater on your garden make sure you use it wisely. Unsuitable greywater reuse may have harmful effects on plants and soils in your garden, and also in the broader environment. There is no sense in exchanging one environmental problem for another! There are also potential health issues with careless use of greywater. See the Greywater Tip Sheet for more information.