Using gray water to flush our toilet


In our home we follow the age-old proverb: If it’s yellow let it mellow. If it’s brown flush it down. Meaning, of course, that we let our lemonade linger. Okay, when we urinate into the toilet we do not flush unless there is accompanying feces or if there was already pee in there or if we have guests. TMI? Maybe, but think about how much water we save by letting our yellow wine “breathe”! I encourage you, dear reader, to try it for yourself. And preferably after asparagus season has passed. Just sayin’…

It is what it is… (Art by Emma Megitt)

I have been investigating greywater systems, most of which involve using your leftover bath water to fill your clothes washing machine. Gravity is the relied upon method of transport in all of the systems I have explored. Unfortunately for us, our bathroom and laundry areas are on the ground floor (actually, slightly below the ground) so gravity is not useful for that particular transfer. We could use an electric pump but that seems to defeat the eco-friendly purpose of this endeavor.

I did come across one water-saving/recycling system that may work for us: rain barrel (outside) to tank (inside) fill system. There was some mention of drilling through walls and whatnot, which I find alarming but I’m sure we can manage to avoid electrical lines and such. At one point we were just leaving the tub undrained and transferring water by the bucket-full to toilet tank or laundry machine. It was not the most efficient use of our time. So, we might just get out the Sawz-All and set up a couple more rain barrels. After all, it’s for a good cause: saving the planet one flush at a time. I’ll let you know how it all goes down…

Do you use a gray water system? What worked for you?

Poll question: Let it mellow or flush it every time with Mother Earth’s blessing?