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A SIMPLE GREY WATER SYSTEM FOR FOOD SECURITY

greywater irrigationHiltonVillage.co.za recently met with the Zunckels at their home to see how their newly installed grey water garden irrigation system is working out. Kevan and Karen are both environmentalists and Karen is the founder of iPhepha Beads and Co-ordinator of SLIP the Sustainable Living and Indigenous Plant fair.
I am happy to report that their kitchen and vegetable garden are both flourishing with this simple and effective Water Rhapsody unit in place. The unit is unobtrusive and quietly pumps water through the irrigation system to supply both gardens when the reservoir reaches a certain volume. The total capacity of the tank is 100l and it pumps out at a pace that ensures the grey water does not sit and stagnate. In the photographs below Kevan reveals the filter baskets and you will see the unit is almost completely submerged.
‘The average person uses about 150 litres of water a day. Assuming 100 litres of that is grey water; a family of four will be reusing 400l of grey water a day.
‘There is an increasing demand for grey water systems and rain water harvesting solutions from our clients. It is very encouraging to see our community becoming increasingly environmentally conscious and water savvy. Naturally one must consider the monetary savings made when you’re able to water your garden with “waste water”. Any household wastewater is considered grey water, as opposed to that from toilets known as black water. 50-80% of your household water is grey water i.e. bath and shower water, washing machine waste, basins waste water. It is not advisable to recycle waste water from your kitchen sink or dishwasher as the water is often laden with food solids and fats, and is considered black water. One should exercise caution with detergents going through the system that may be toxic to nature and rather use biodegradable detergents. According to Guy Jubber, ‘a grey water system will also increase the value of your property for resale’.
One of the biggest problems we have in Hilton with the current waste system is that due to the high clay content of the soil, our soak-away soon overfill and have an extremely limited life span. Continually rebuilding a soak-away becomes an expensive process. Installing a grey water system is affordable and is able to drain water from your entire household and then be used to water your lawn/garden with water that would otherwise be futile for future use. Why pay double for treated water and waste earths’ most precious resource when such a simple solution exists!’ said Graham Mallen owner of Will Forsyth Plumbing and Go Green who installed the water Rhapsody for the Zunckels.
The Zunckels are passionate about our environment and their home is a great example of how water can be better managed to ensure food security and ease the demand on municipal supply. Next they plan to add more solar panels and they are also very impressed with Warren Confait’s Biogas Digester options avaiable through Renen. We look forward to future updates from them and would love to hear how other Hilton families are getting off the grid!

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Source: Hilton Village

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