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Watering the garden- environmental dilemma

Discussion in 'General Gardening Discussion' started by Selleri, Jun 12, 2022.

  1. Sian in Belgium

    Sian in Belgium Total Gardener

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    In Belgium grey water systems are in all new-builds. Yes, each building has a retaining tank under the building/patio, to hold its own grey and rain water. This is then used for garden watering, toilet-flushing, etc. Our house is older than this regulation, but we have a rainwater tank under the patio (probably needed for the extension plans to be approved). So our tank is just rainwater, rather than combined.
    Two years ago we were partially connected to the mains sewage. I say “partially”, as solids are held in the existing septic tank, and liquids join the street sewage system. We have to separate rain water from this. Two separate pipe systems were set into the street, one to take away rain water, one for “dirty” water. We had to prove that rainwater does not go into the sewage system. This had to be done to comply with EU regulations…. This is a retrospective installation. Most of the houses on the street are 40 years old. So it is possible to do!!
     
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    • pete

      pete Growing a bit of this and a bit of that....

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      @Sian in Belgium What happens when the grey water tank is full, how do you dispose of it if you are creating more than you reuse.
       
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      • Sian in Belgium

        Sian in Belgium Total Gardener

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        As far as I know, there is a system of soakaway into the ground (as with a septic tank), or it goes into the grey/rainwater pipes in the street.
        I am no expert on the general technicalities, but I know what happens in this older-housing street, and for a newer build property with its own grey water tank.
         
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        • Fat Controller

          Fat Controller 'Cuddly' Scottish Admin! Staff Member

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          It could be either I suppose, but I'd doubt that we would all use sufficient grey water to use up our own grey water amounts? If that were to be taken away and filtered, it could very easily be used for agriculture and so on. Some countries even have two water supplies to their properties - one potable water and one grey water for gardens and car washing etc.
           
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          • pete

            pete Growing a bit of this and a bit of that....

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            Bearing in mind the water companies cant even keep up with fixing leaks I doubt any such system could be brought in over here for anything other than new builds.
             
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            • CarolineL

              CarolineL Total Gardener

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              In my last house in Nottinghamshire, I tried asking the local authorities if I could put in a grey water capture tank in the ground - they were totally negative about it, so all I did was have water butts on every corner of the house. It annoyed me because I had a septic tank anyway, so it wouldn't have changed anything elsewhere. BTW, septic tanks force you to think carefully about not wasting too much water from your house - you don't want them filling up!
               
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              • shiney

                shiney President, Grumpy Old Men's Club Staff Member

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                We now have our tank (not a septic tank, just a tank) emptied twice a year. Decades ago it only needed emptying every 18 months but the ground water levels have risen over the years and so the surplus water at the top of the tank can't soak away so easily. It's still cheaper than paying the sewage component of the water rates.
                 
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                • Victoria

                  Victoria Lover of Exotic Flora

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                  :ideaIPB: Sorry, the penny has dropped! Fat bergs ... grease icebergs. :whistle:

                  When I said I don't like grease on my hands, I didn't mean like car grease (I used to work on cars, do my own maintenance up to and including changing a head gasket) ... it is kitchen grease I can't stand, cringe!!!
                   
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