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Grey Water to grow food
Charlie D
ID#: 48269
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3:44:04 PM on 20-08-2006
Is there any problem with using grey water from household applications (washing machine etc) to water a vegetable garden.  Could the vegetables become contaminated in some way?
Kristin
ID#: 48271
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4:08:35 PM on 20-08-2006
if you use the rinse water and use only biodegradable washing powder like planet ark or aware it is safe for use on gardens
ZanyZebra
ID#: 48274
Vegetarian and Vegan Society of Queensland member
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4:53:24 PM on 20-08-2006
Plus you no longer need toothpaste if you grow vegetables in washing water ;-)

Thanks for the answer Kristin, I was wondering too.
cannycap
Moderator

ID#: 48285
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5:57:10 PM on 20-08-2006
yes Kristin, agree.. would love to have a grey water set up here for my vegie patch, but as you say, depends on what goes in to it in the first place..

We just had our asbestos roof sealed... and new guttering put on, and are looking to put in a rainwater tank now. Would be great if we could get some kind of set up to use greywater as well.

Does anyone know if rainwater off a sealed asbestos roof is ok to use first hand?
Phil Westwood
ID#: 48293
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6:34:41 PM on 20-08-2006
There's no problem drinking or otherwise using water off a sealed asbestos roof. There are still plenty of asbestos lined piped used in reticulated water systems around Australia. The health problem with asbestos relates to the airborne particles. If you start breaking the asbestos up you will be at risk - leave it alone and you are OK.
Charlie D
ID#: 48316
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8:14:14 PM on 20-08-2006
So here's the big question.... is there a simple (read foolproof) DIY way to run off gray water to the garden or to a storage container to later be used in the garden?
swami
ID#: 48321
Vegetarian and Vegan Society of Queensland member
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8:21:42 PM on 20-08-2006
Charlie D.  Is your laundry anywhere near your garden?  When I had a greywater setup, my laundry was next to the garden, so I would attach some piping that I got from a hardware store to the washing machine hose, connect it throught the open window and secure it with a clip.  The water would run straight into the garden.  If it's not that close, I guess you'd need to get a container that's big enough to hold the amount of water that's going to come out and have a hose above the container so it will empty into the container.  You'd need to secure it so it wouldn't go all over the place.
zaneyfunster
ID#: 48331
Vegetarian and Vegan Society of Queensland member
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8:57:04 PM on 20-08-2006
I bought a "specially designed" pipe for this purpose from the garden section of a chain store starting with a K.
I think it cost about $15, about 10 metres long (ish) and has a neat little rubber thingy that the washing machine pipe fits perfectly into without any worries.

I run the water into a trench and let it seep through to the veggies.

This setup is not actually in my car, it's at a friends place ;)
Phil Westwood
ID#: 48335
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9:38:33 PM on 20-08-2006
We've had no difficulties at all using greywater. PVC pipes are cheap, easy to connect and we run some flexible agi-pipe in a trench in the veggie garden to allow the water to seep through. I think our total cost was well under $50.
I understand it's best to use the water straight away because you may have some smell/health problems if you try to store it for any significant length of time for later use.
Ellie-May
ID#: 48381
Vegetarian and Vegan Society of Queensland member
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9:44:08 AM on 21-08-2006
I've been using washing machine water on my garden for a while now and have to say that it is looking better now than before the water restrictions.  Well, apart from the fact that the chooks are into everything and I'm having to try to 'chook proof' areas!  I only ever use 'aware' powder and 'earth's choice' softener so it's not a problem for the plants.  I just put the hose from the washing machine into a watering can in the tub, do it all by hand.  It is time consuming but it's part of my daily routine now. I have just had a quote from one of those companies that do the grey water systems.  Over $3000 for a small garden.  I just can't justify paying that.  Hubby is in the middle of setting up a simpler system like some of you are describing here.  So that should make things easier.
te3by
ID#: 48394
Vegetarian and Vegan Society of Queensland member
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10:23:05 AM on 21-08-2006
I've been using the rinsing water for my flowers, the washing up water on the big trees, and the cold water from the shower on my herbs... hasn't done them any harm *i hope*
cannycap
Moderator

ID#: 48419
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6:46:38 PM on 21-08-2006
Thanks for the feedback on the asbestos roof Phil. The greywater usage sounds great too zf. I shall endavour to get ours up and running! Just planted the vegie patch for this season.

The Earth Choice washing stuff is ok isn't it? Won't contaminate groundwater?
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