Greywater and your property
There is an increasing desire to use greywater (waste water from showers, basins and laundry) in the garden. However, greywater can contain harmful micro-organisms and contains high levels of salts and other contaminants which can make the soil unusable if it is not properly managed. There is also the potential for contaminating waterways.
Care must be taken re-using greywater and therefore all properties require approval to dispose of greywater on-site, unless exempt (Regulation 75A of the Local Government (General Regulation) 2005).
Exemptions – these apply to sewered properties only.
Manual bucketing – small quantities of greywater are captured in a bucket for re-use outside on gardens or lawns.
Greywater Diversion Devices – a domestic greywater diversion device may be installed and used without the prior approval of the council under certain conditions including:
- the site is not located in an environmentally sensitive area;
- it is on a single domestic dwelling (not multiple dwellings such as units, strata title properties etc);
- greywater must not be stored or treated other than primary screening or filtering and must be disposed of by a sub-surface irrigation system, at least 100mm below ground; and
- a 'WaterMark' licensed diversion device is used and installed by a licensed plumber in accordance with the National Plumbing & Drainage Code.
For further information on safe greywater disposal, refer to the NSW Government Guidelines for Greywater Reuse in Sewered, Single Household Residential Premises (2007).
Exemptions are not available for any greywater disposal on non-sewered properties (i.e. properties with an on-site sewage management system such as a septic tank or aerated wastewater treatment system). Greywater disposal is to be considered as part of the site's overall method of wastewater treatment and disposal and requires an approval.
All greywater treatment systems require approval. The level of information required as part of the application depends on the proposed final use of the greywater which can be:
- Reuse in toilets and laundry only;
- Reuse as garden irrigation
NOTE: Reuse of treated greywater on domestic premises by directing it to taps or hand-held hoses or for use as potable (i.e. drinking) purposes is not permitted in the Eurobodalla Shire Local Government Area.