Using greywater in your garden | Brisbane City Council

Using greywater in your garden

Using greywater on your garden is a great way to keep it green and healthy. 

Here is a list of things to remember when using greywater:

Do Don't
Gain Council approval and research your land’s suitability prior to purchasing or installing a greywater system. Store untreated greywater. Greywater contains contaminants and bacteria that can multiply quickly and potentially cause a smell or a health risk.
Divert untreated greywater to the sewerage system if it is not used immediately (e.g. during heavy rain).  Allow children, pets or human contact to occur where greywater has been used.
Ensure the plants and turf varieties in your garden are greywater tolerant. Use greywater that has been used to wash heavily soiled items such as nappies or work uniforms.
Choose laundry detergents that are designed for greywater re-use.
These will usually contain low nitrogen, phosphorous and salts and will be labelled appropriately.
Allow greywater to flow into stormwater drains, or to pollute a watercourse or groundwater.
Use greywater only when your garden needs watering and try not to over-water as this may damage plants and soil structure. Use greywater when there is a person in your home that is unwell.
Prevent run-off into neighbouring properties as this may cause a health risk. Allow greywater to pond, as this may cause offensive odours and potentially become a health risk.
Ensure you wash your hands thoroughly after coming into contact with greywater and use gloves if possible. Allow greywater to come into contact with vegetables, herbs or edible plants, or allow it to splash onto them.
  Use greywater if you have used detergents that contain harmful salts, as this may kill plants or damage soil structure.

Suitable plants and turf

There are many plants and turf that like greywater:

  • bird of paradise  
  • melaleuca
  • dietes
  • gardenia
  • callistemon
  • confiers
  • liriope
  • yucca
  • hibiscus
  • manilla grass
  • seashore paspalum
  • saltwater couch grass
  • st augustine turf*
  • bermuda grass*
  • buffalo grass*
  • green couch*

*alternate greywater and fresh water

Handy tips

Only use the amount of water your garden needs for it to be healthy. Excessive watering may lead to:

  • water-logged soil
  • plant damage
  • increased risk of greywater entering natural waterways or seeping into groundwater

Consider what is in your greywater before applying it to your yard.

More information

Find other uses for greywater.

19 January 2017