Greywater Recycling


We define greywater as “wastewater” from bathroom sinks, showers, tubs, and washing machines. “It’s everything but the kitchen sink, dishwasher, and toilet,” says PermaDesign's Melissa McDonald—who helped rewrite New Mexico’s greywater law in 2003. “If you’ve got a crawl space or a basement, you have got a golden opportunity to harvest your greywater.”


Roll over circles above to see the full-sized image.

Larger views

Greywater, when safely utilized, makes for a vibrant and healthy environment.

“Washing machines are great sources,” McDonald continues, “for folks who don’t have access to bathroom drain pipes.” One of the keys to successful greywater reuse is a simple but profound piece of plumbing, developed by Art Ludwig, called a “double-el” or a “flow splitter.” Its function is to spread greywater throughout a properly sloping property. Flow splitters can be relatively easy to install and maintain. “Never store greywater in a tank—it can turn septic in a day or less. It’s much better to deliver this powerful resource to mulched basins that filter and recycle it,” she adds.