What is greywater and what can it be used for?
- Greywater is wastewater from the shower, hand basin, laundry and kitchen.
- Toilet waste (blackwater) is highly polluted and can't be re-used in a greywater system under any circumstance.
- You can use greywater for watering your gardens and, depending on the level and type of treatment, in your toilet cisterns.
- Because greywater may be heavily contaminated with bacteria, its re-use is subject to restrictions due to the potential health risks.
Domestic greywater treatment systems (DGTS)
- Council approval is required to install these systems. A fee of $215 (2022/23 fee - reviewed annually) applies.
- Treatment and disinfection expands the permitted uses and methods of dispersal.
- Depending on the level of treatment and disinfection provided by an accredited treatment system, greywater may be dispersed by a surface irrigation system or used to flush toilets.
Check this list of accredited systems.
Apply to install a Domestic Greywater Treatment System
If approved, you will be able to operate your DGTS without cost following a satisfactory final inspection of the system by us.
As a condition of any approval, we require a report from a suitably qualified person, at prescribed intervals, stating that the system:
- Is operating in accordance with the approval.
- Isn't permitting offsite migration of wastewater.
- Isn't causing pollution of a waterway.
- Isn't causing any environmental damage.
- Isn't creating a health risk to any other person.
- Isn't causing any offensive odours.
Greywater diversion devices (GDD)
- With GDDs, greywater is gravity fed or pumped (using a small surge tank) immediately to sub surface irrigation around the garden or lawn areas of a property.
- This system doesn't store greywater for later re-use.
- A GDD should incorporate a hand-activated valve, switch or tap that allows you to manually swap between the GDD and the sewer. Any surge tank must be fitted with an overflow pipe connected to the sewer.
Is approval required?
If you meet the following criteria, council approval is not required:
- It is carried out in accordance with the NSW Code of Practice for Plumbing and Drainage.
- There is no other sewage management facility installed on the premises concerned.
- If it meets the following performance standards:
- prevention of the spread of disease by micro-organisms, the spread of foul odours, contamination of water and degradation of soil and vegetation.
- ensures that persons don't come into contact with untreated sewage or effluent (whether treated or not) in their ordinary activities on the premises concerned.
- minimisation of any adverse impacts on the amenity of the premises concerned and surrounding lands.
A GDD must be designed and operated in accordance with the NSW Guidelines for Greywater Reuse in Sewered Single Domestic Premises.
If the GDD does not meet the above criteria, you must lodge an application with council to install the device.
A fee of $215 (2022/23 fee - reviewed annually) applies .
Apply to install a Domestic Greywater Diversion Device
Precautions must be taken to ensure the installation of any greywater treatment or diversion device does not contaminate the existing water supply service.
Contact Sydney Water for more information.
Application to install Greywater Re-Use System
Application to install a Domestic Greywater Treatment System