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Grey Waste Water

Grey Waste Water

Greywater is waste water from washing machines, laundry tubs, showers, hand basins and baths. It does not include waste water from toilets, urinals, bidets, or kitchens.


Greywater from residential premises (single households) is a resource and can be reused on-site for garden and lawn irrigation or, if treated appropriately, for toilet flushing and laundry use (washing machine only).


Substituting greywater for drinking water for these end uses will not only reduce the demand on drinking water supplies, but will also reduce the amount of sewage waste water discharged to the environment.

Ways to Reuse Greywater

There are three ways of reusing greywater that can be implemented for sewered residential premises in NSW:

  • Greywater diversion - diverts greywater generated by a premises to the garden or lawn for use in sub-surface irrigation.
  • Greywater treatment - treats greywater for other reuse, such as toilet flushing, washing machine and surface irrigation (installation will require a Land Use Application – s68 Approval from Council).
  • Manual bucketing - involves the reuse of relatively small quantities of greywater for irrigation.


The NSW Office of Water has published guidelines for greywater use in households. The Guidelines relate to single, detached households only and do not include premises comprising more than one dwelling. The Guidelines can be downloaded here:


linkNSW Guidelines for Greywater Reuse in Sewered, Single Household Residential Premises (May 2008) (PDF, 1MB)


Providing the guidelines are followed Council approval is not required.


A number of fact sheets on greywater reuse for households are available on the NSW Office of Water's website. Click the link below for more details:


linkGrey Water Fact Sheet 1 - Grey Water Diversion Devices - Do's and Don'ts (March 2007)

Last Updated: April 18th, 2019
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