How to reuse bathroom water for gardening

By: On:

At source collection and reuse or recycling of household, wastewater can reduce the amount of water consumption in both urban and rural areas. According to the UN water survey conducted in 2010 household water consumption results in about 8% of the total global water usage. By reusing water, we not only reduce the total amount of water used globally but also reduce household spending as well as reduce water wastage. Here is all you need to know about How to reuse bathroom water for gardening?

As we know it gardening consumes a lot of water. Most of the time we use drinkable water for this process resulting in overconsumption to the extent of wastage. The amount of water used in some ways also influences the extent to which you garden.

In order to save water, people have smaller gardens, they use planters or plant trees and plants that do not require a lot of water to survive. 

These may seem like a good short-term solution. But do you know that even by reducing the amount of plant you are still using water that could have been used for drinking or cooking?

When it comes to water conservation and saving the environment, reusing household waste water can be the first step. There are a number of avenues in which water used in the house can be reused especially water used in the bathroom. So How to reuse bathroom water for gardening?

reuse bath water for garden
reuse bath water for garden

Reusing household has not only proven to reduce the amount of water consumed globally but also reduces your yearly water bill drastically. 

How can I reuse my bathroom water?

The bathroom is one room in the house that consumes a lot of water. right from using the wash basin, to the shower to the bathtub. You also flush down so many gallons of water while every year using the toiler. When you think about reusing household water in gardening, in my opinion, the bathroom is the first place you can start. 

Most of the water used in bathrooms can easily be reused. Looking at the broader picture, bathroom water can be classified into two types, Grey water, and Black water.

Grey water is the water that is normally recycled or reused. This water can be used for a number of household activities like washing the car, the driveway, and even gardening. this water is generally safe as it doesn’t contain pathogens.

On the other hand, black water is the water used or generated out of toilets. This water is not fit for recycling. Black water is generally let into a sump and cannot be reused to water gardens. 

The question that comes to our minds most often is Can I use bath water to water the garden?

In one simple word, the answer to this question is yes, bath water can be used for gardening. but How to reuse bathroom water for gardening? Before understanding the process, it is important to understand the components of bathwater. if this water is reclassified into two major categories, bathroom water into the soapy water and non-soapy water.

So, the water you use in the washbasin is mostly non-soapy so is the water that flows out of your shower while you are waiting for it to heat up. The water you use to wash off soap and the water in your bathtub along with water from your washing machine can be classified as soapy. 

The most convenient part about this classification is that non-soapy water can be used directly for gardening while soapy water will in most cases need to be treated. In some cases, by simply changing the products you use you can use water from the shower as well as that used to do laundry. 

How to reuse bathroom water for gardening

Here are the 3 main things to consider when reusing bathroom water for gardening. There are different ways to recycle bath water for gardening.

#1 Start with a plant 

Recycling is not as difficult as you think it is. You do not need to make a major alteration in the way you live or your house interiors. All you need to do is identify the amount of water used in and around your bathroom. Once you are aware of the amount of water used it becomes easy to identify avenues to save. 

Stat by planning ways in which you can reuse water. Do you have a garden or do you need to add plants, do you have a lawn or does it need installing? You will need to take all these factors into consideration before the plan is put into motion.

#2 Plumbing

The second most important factor when it comes to reusing bathroom water for gardening is Plumbing. Recycling bathwater becomes easier when you have an automated system and hence during the process of reusing water plumbing plays a significant role.

In most households, the original plumbing is concealed. This makes it difficult to make alterations and integrate a new system. 

Alterations or additions done to the original system in such cases can get expensive. Secondly redoing the system is not an option for most people. Hence, most households prefer external connections when it comes to recycling bathwater.

Therefore, when it comes to plumbing in relation to reusing bathroom water for gardening, you need to make the choice if you want to invest in a full-fledged plumbing system or alter the existing system.

Both the options differ in terms of cost and the amount of time it will take. Both these options have their own pros and cons and we suggest you look at your requirements closely before taking a call.

#3 Products

The product you use, beauty as well as detergents and other cleaning agents play an important role in the ability to recycle water. Hence, you will also need to devise a plan when it comes to the products you use. Are you willing to switch to something that is recyclable? 

Most soaps contain sodium and phosphorous along with other chemicals in large quantities. To make sure the products you use are safe opt for ones with low sodium and phosphorate. This coupled with watering at the roots and not the leaves. makes the water better for plants. 

Another way to make the water usable is by installing a purification plant.

The above are a few ways to get bath water to the garden.

How to reuse bath water for gardening

Soaking in a bath with aromatic candles and good music is the perfect way to unwind. But have you wondered what happens to the water? sadly all of it goes down the drain. What if you could find a way in which this water can be used.

The first thing to keep in mind when you plan to use bathwater is the components of the products used. It is better to check for labels that manufacture bath bombs invariants that do not drastically change the properties of water.

In this way, the water is more recyclable and reusable. The second step is to check how you can drain the water.

So, how to reuse bathroom water for gardening?

There are two ways in which this water can be used for gardening.

how to get bath water to the garden
how to get bath water to the garden

#1 Altering the plumbing

In almost all house the bath drain is connected to the main plumbing line. This is an absolute waste especially if you have a garden that needs to be watered on a daily basis.

The easiest way to direct the water from the tub directly to the gardening is by altering the plumbing. This can be done in a way that it does not hamper other connects and the original plumbing stays intact.

The alterations can be done yourself if you have decent knowledge about PVC and how to connect them. A number of tutorials are available online that help people with minimal knowledge to alter to get the connections done.

All you need to do is create a connection in a way that the water drains through the same outlet but instead of connecting to the mainline it is diverted to another pipe. This pipe will then collect the water in a storage bin or water your plants directly using irrigation pipes that need to be installed as well.

#2 Draining the bath water manually

When we say draining the water manually, we do not mean using a bucket to empty the tub. This method is a little time consuming but works well if you do not want to alter the plumbing. Or if you are not so sure if you want to go through the reusing process altogether. 

Manual draining of bathwater is simple all you need is a Fountain pump for about 90 – 100 gallons. These pumps are available locally at about $10 and work really well when it comes to draining tubs. Attach a pipe to the fountain pump and secure the joint. Once that’s done you need to plug the pump in and let it do it magic. 

Dip the fountain pump in the tab and secure it at the bottom. These pumps normally come with rubber suction cups that help fasten them to the bottom. Once the pump is switched on it will start pumping water into the pipe. 

Tip: see that the pipe is long enough to carry the water to either your plants or to the storage tank. 

These methods along with many others come under the Grey water recycling systems residential. This water can also be treated in a purification plant. the plant need not be fancy, a simple setting in your backyard will purify your grey water in no time. 

Can greywater be used for gardening?

Grey water can be used for gardening in both urban and rural settings. In rural settings or in houses that are individually set it is easier to make connections and alterations in the plumbing. If the plumbing is old and outdated or if pipes are concealed you can always use external connectors.

These not only make the job easier but also make it convenient to maintain the connection. These generally come with an external valve that acts as a barrier between the existing drainage connection and the new connection.

This water can then be redirected to a storage facility or the water can be used to water plants directly. It becomes a little complicated when it comes to altering the plumbing system for larger residential complexes.

Sometimes it becomes difficult to alter the connections in bathrooms. If that is the case how to reuse bathroom water for gardening?

If you cannot alter the plumbing in your bathroom and if you still want to use the water for your garden here are ways in which it can be done.

Manually reuse bathroom water for gardening

In order to conserve household waste water from the bathroom for gardening, these methods can be used. They can be a little time consuming but all in all, they can be used. 

#1 Use a shower bucket

Shower buckets are a good idea when it comes to collecting the water trickling down the shower while you wait for the water to heat. It is also a good way to collect the water that trickles after you have finished.

It may not seem like a lot while you collect water but imagine the amount of water you save while the entire family follows the same process. This is how you can collect bath water for garden.

#2 Use a shower funnel

A shower funnel is nothing but an extension to the shower bucket. Here instead of using a bucket to collect the water, you use a funnel connected to a pipe. This will drain directly in your storage tank or it will water plants as and when you take a shower.

#3 Collect water as you do laundry

A lot of water gets wasted while doing laundry. The average washing cycle is about 40 to 60 minutes where water is let into full capacity 2 to 3 times. That’s a lot of water going down the drain every time the machine drains.

To avoid this the water from the machine can be collected in collection tanks. As this is not attached to the main drain you can change the course of the water manually.

#4 Reuse Sink water 

A few countries have started to take water conservation very seriously and a sink to the toilet system is one of the ways in which it is done. The mechanism is simple, you either connect a pipe from your sink outlet to the toilet flush tank or you have a sink over the tank.

Either wat the idea is to collect the water you use to wash hands and reuse it to flush the toilet. This way you save a lot of water. thought this method is not helpful in terms of gardening it does help save a lot of water. 

The sink water can also be channelled through the shower funnel and collected in the reusable water tank. While using sink water we need to be careful about the products we use, the soaps that contain harmful chemicals can harm plants.

These products are easier to regulate so a small change won’t hamper your routine.

#5 Collect excess drinking water

All of us have a bedside table with a bottle of water. more often than not this water is unused and we tend to change the water almost every night. Instead of discarding this water collect it in either your shower bucket or pour it down the shower funnel. This when done regularly saves a lot of water. 

While on the topic of how to reuse bathroom water for gardening? the one concern that keeps popping up is Using laundry water for vegetable gardening.

This is something that most of us would like to do considering the fact that so much water gets wasted when we let the laundry water drain into the main sewage line. In the previous section, we spoke about laundry water and how it can be collected. This section will deal with details about the process. 

When it comes to laundry water wastage in households, we agree that it’s a lot. this water can be used to water the garden when done right. We spoke about how a collection tank can be used to collect this water. we are also aware of the fact that biodegradable detergents are better as they do not harm plants.

But there is one point we overlooked, what about the link, dirt and grime that comes along with the soapy water. Can this laundry water for vegetable gardening?

As we know doing laundry is a two-step process on in which the clothes are washed and one where they are rinsed. When washing clothes, a lot of dirt lint and gunk get mixed with the soap. Hence the water that drains out is actually unfit to use directly on plants. This water needs to be treated or at least filtered before being let into the garden.  

Water from the PH of about 9 to 10 a PH this high will not do good when it comes to watering plants. Hence unless this water is treated it should not be used in gardens.  

The water from the rinse cycle however is easier on plants and can be used easily. all you need to do is fit in a filtration system and you are good to go. This seems like a time-consuming process to use half the water with treatment and the other without. Hence, we recommend that you treat laundry water regardless. 

So, to answer the question, Is washing machine water good for plants? the simple answer to this is it depends on a number of factors but all in all if treated well it can be used.

collecting bath water for garden
collecting bath water for garden

How to filter and reuse bathroom water for gardening

There are different ways to recycle bath water for gardening. Here, are a few ways to reuse bath water for garden.

Filtering bath water is not a difficult process, the water can be collected in the ways mentioned above and then collected in a collection tank in your backyard. The extent of the filtration or purifying plant depends on the size of your garden and the amount of water you use. 

To start off you need a collection tank that is connected to the plumbing. This tank has a filter where all solid and floatable particles are left behind before it enters the second container. This container contains enzymes and microbes that are responsible for the anaerobic decomposition of soluble matter.

During this process, the water passes through a number of chambers. After this is done the water is fairly pure and passes through a gravel filled container with reeds. Here microorganisms and pathogens are killed by UV exposure and the roots of the plants absorb all the chemicals and pollutants.

After this, the water is collected in an open tank where it is exposed to the sun to increase the amount of oxygen in it and to also break down chemicals.

This process is the best for Greywater treatment at home and the water can only to water plants, please be careful not to use this water for drinking or to water vegetables and fruits.

 After the water is purified it can be used almost immediately. The question that arises then is How do I divert my greywater to my garden?

The water can be used in the garden by installing perforated pipes. These pipes run along the length of the garden and the entire garden gets watered in a few minutes. This is a way of irrigation and the fastest way to reach every corner of the garden.

The method of disposition depends largely on the extent of the garden and the plants you have. As mentioned earlier it is advisable not to use this water on vegetables and fruits especially those that are eaten raw.

The second way in which you can water your garden is by hoarse pipes. These are particularly useful when you have bigger trees growing in your garden. The ones that require a lot of water to survive. 

 We can say that Grey water recycling is not a difficult task here are a few ways in which you can improve the quality of grey water which will, in turn, better the quality of the water you use for gardening.

  • Cleaning chemicals cause the most harm and to better the quality of grey water you can minimize the use of products with harmful chemicals. Choose natural and biodegradable products instead. These are easier to purify and do not harm plants.
  • When it comes to laundry detergents soaps and shampoos use ones that are low or have no sodium altogether.
  • Use a lint filter for all outlets in your bathroom that connect to the grey water collection unit. This will reduce the amount of lint that gets into the water. These filters will need to be cleaned or replaced regularly.
  • Be careful where you dispose housel hold chemicals. If you dispose them down the sink, they will get mixed with your grey water. contact local authorities and look for ways to dispose them properly.

5 important things about grey water

  1. Grey water is different from regular water and cannot be stored for long, use the water within 24 if not treated, if treated you can use it within a week.  
  2. Minimize contact with untreated greywater as it may contain pathogens that may cause illnesses. 
  3. Do not use grey water to water vegetables and fruits that are to be eaten raw. You can also avoid using it on them altogether. 
  4. Do not let the water run, know how much water is required for your garden and soil type. keep animals away from this water to avoid infections and illnesses. 
  5. Keep the collection and purification process simple, do not use too many pumps or equipment that will need maintenance over time.

You may like the following gardening articles:

In conclusion

With the bathroom being the only place where water is used in large quantities it is easier to find avenues to conserve. If you have always wondered if Bathroom water is safe for plants or how to reuse bathroom water for gardening. It’s a simple plan, be mindful of the amount of water you use and the amount that goes to waste. When you have this information, it becomes easier to devise a plan to collect, purify, and use the water. All you need is a little presence of mind and the willingness to implement change. I hope you get enough ideas to reuse bath water for garden and different ways to recycle bath water for gardening.

Leave a Comment