The Edmonton Rain Barrel Project

Grey Water Recycling

Grey water, which is basically any used water that hasn't come from the toilet, can be reused for other purposes. Water from taps, sinks, and showers can be filtered in a sand filter or somthing similar and reused in the toilet, or be applied to plants, lawns, and gardens. In many areas of the world, the benefits of grey water reuse are well recognized. See the chart below for summaries of a few areas of the world!

LocationGrey Water Reuse Details
  • Grey Water Does Not Require Testing
  • Can be applied through Subsurface Drip Irrigation or Mini-Leachfield Irrigation System
  • Drip system requires surge tank of 50 to 100 gallons
  • Leachfield system does not require surge tank
  • Water must be applied 8 to 12 inches under the ground
  • Systems using less than 400 gallons/day require no permit
  • Gray water can be applied to the surface of lawns and gardens
  • Water must be sterilized using UV, Ozone, or Chlorine
  • Grey Water Reuse Not Legal
  • According to the Alberta Building Code, all water that has exited a plumbing fixture is referred to as "Black Water" and must be sent to the municipal treatment centre