Water is a crucial asset – without it, we simply would not survive. Every day we use it, and most of it is collected as sewage.
Wastewater can be classified into two categories: black water and grey water. Although both are wastewater, they have different levels of contamination, which is why they must be treated differently.
Both varieties can be recycled through treatment systems and are often reused for irrigation and cleaning.
What Is Grey Water?
Grey water is the sewage from sinks, washing machines, bathtubs, and showers. It contains lower levels of contamination, facilitating treatment, and processing.
Recycled grey water is commonly used in irrigation and inbuilt wetlands – as long as there are no harmful chemicals.
Blackwater is the wastewater from bathrooms and toilets that contains fecal matter and urine.
Kitchen and dishwasher water is also considered black water due to contamination by pathogens and grease.
It is also known as sewage or brown water and can transmit diseases and bacteria, which can be harmful.
Black Water Vs Grey Water
Without water, life would be impossible. It is very important for the survival of man and all living beings. We drink it to quench our thirst, use it to grow our food, cleanse our bodies and utensils, and for recreation and exercise.
In the daily activities and tasks in which we use water, most of it is collected as sewage. When we shower or wash dishes, we produce wastewater that is usually collected in tanks.
Wastewater is classified into two categories, blackwater and grey water. They must be kept in separate tanks because, although both are used water, they have different levels of contamination and must be treated differently.
They can be recycled and used to water plants and clean. They can be recycled by filtration, composting, distillation, or various other mechanical or biological treatment systems.
It can also refer to floodwater that generally come from overflowing bodies of water as a result of heavy rains, typhoons, hurricanes, or tsunamis that combine with sewage that can be loaded with bacteria.
When recycling and treating blackwater for use as a fertilizer, it must be processed and broken down properly to destroy bacteria. The heat generated in composting can kill the bacteria that blackwater contains.
There are now composting and vermicomposting toilets. Some industrial and business organizations are already using them to help reduce blackwater.
Grey water are wastewater from sinks, washing machines, and bathtubs. It contains a lower level of contaminants than black water and is easier to treat and process.
It can even be used directly in vegetable gardens, as long as there are no harmful chemicals, such as soap and detergents, that can harm plants and soil.
The recycled grey water can be used for irrigation and inbuilt wet areas. If the grey water is in the sink, the food particles in it can nourish the plants. It can also be used to wash and wash the bathrooms.
In times of drought, recycled grey water is very useful. The grey water flows from washing dishes or clothes can even be used to heat bathwater, reducing energy use.
While some people think that recycling black water and grey water in homes for use in washing machines can entice people to use more water instead of conserving it, the use of recycled wastewater is still good, especially in places where water is scarce.
People should be properly educated and informed about how to use water in a way that helps to conserve it.
- Blackwater is wastewater from toilets, while grey water is wastewater from sinks, dishwashers, bathtubs, and washing machines.
- Blackwater is contaminated with disease-carrying bacteria, while grey water has fewer contaminants.
- Blackwater can only be recycled as fertilizer for plants, while recycled grey water can be used for irrigation, flushing toilets, and cleaning cars and floors.
- Blackwater is more dangerous than grey water.
How to Treat Blackwater?:
Biological or chemical treatment and disinfection are required to treat black water. There are several accredited treatment systems available for external use.
The most common wastewater treatment and reuse system in Australia is the aerated system – which involves the following steps
Wastewater solids sediment; The effluent is aerated to assist in the bacterial decomposition of organic matter and Disinfection by chlorine pellets.
How to Treat Grey Water?:
It can be reused in gardens with little or no treatment through an underground irrigation system to spread the water evenly throughout the garden.
This method is safer for untreated grey water; however, all treatment recommendations depend on the condition of the grey water.
Grey water offers an economical water source for those who do not have access to the power grid or are unable to collect enough rainwater for indoor use.
By reusing treated gray water in flushing the toilet, you can save approximately 50 L of drinking water in an ordinary home every day.
How to Guarantee Water Quality for Grey and Black Water?
The quality of the reused water will depend on the treatment system, the previous use of the water, and the chemicals used at the source. Consider the following to simplify treatment requirements:
- Minimize the use of harsh chemical cleanings; consider natural cleaning products.
- Use laundry detergents with little or no sodium, soaps, and shampoos.
- Clean and replace the lint filter to ensure that water can flow.
- Do not dispose of household chemicals in the sink – your local council will have chemical collection services available.
- Use a sink strainer in the kitchen to prevent food scraps and other solid materials from entering wastewater facilities.