Grey to Green

Water shortages in Australia represent one of the major challenges we must face and act upon quickly, as the survival of our homes, farms, environment and industry depends on it.

Government initiatives and strategies are good but sometimes slow to be implemented. We must act as individuals and communities, doing whatever we can to save this precious resource from disappearing down the drain.

One such initiative is to recycle greywater from the shower, bathroom, basin and laundry (wastewater from the house except kitchen and toilet).

With the advent of new greywater recycling technologies it is possible to recycle this greywater into clean water, amenable for reuse around the garden, toilet and other minor uses around the house.

Unlike rain water, greywater is available daily. A typical 3 bedroom home can produce between 400 to 600 litres of greywater per day. This greywater, after treated and disinfected can be stored in tanks or bladders (under the house) for use on demand, only when it is needed.

EnvBioChem Solutions Australia Pty Ltd, a Melbourne based company, has developed such a system. Known as the ESA-Envirowater™ treatment, this unit is capable of cleaning up to 1000 litres per day using the equivalent of approximately $0.39 in electricity costs. The unit has been tested by a RMIT University team who found the unit to be a high quality producing recycled water which complies with Vic. EPA and NSW health guidelines for greywater recycling.

The unit is compact and simple to install, requiring only a 1 metre deep by 1 metre diameter in ground hole for installation (although above the ground is also possible), excess water overflows to sewer. The system uses a natural biological filtration process which basically mimics nature, i.e. the equivalent of a river flowing downstream, aerating the water while hitting rocks and pebbles along the way.

The ESA-Envirowater™ recycling system has another advantage; it doubles as a decorative fountain in the backyard. This gives the unit more appeal as greywater treatment is transformed from just pumps and tanks to something beautiful that the house owner can be proud of.

water feature

By combining rain water tanks and the ESA-Envirowater™ system, a family in Melbourne have cut down the water use around the house by 95%, using only the equivalent of less than 3 buckets (27 litres for the whole family of 4 + pets!) a day of tap water, for drinking and cooking purposes only, without having to suffer the consequences of water restrictions at their home (The McQuire’s family of 19 Murray St. West Brunswick,Vic.)

Saving water is possible, doing it sustainable is even better, we should all continue our quest to make our environments, and our precious water resources available for generations to come .

To arrange a tour to the Brunswick Sustainable House or if you like to have more information on how to transform your home or business to make them more environmentally sustainable visit



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