Discover how to divert, store and use graywater from your home on your garden – safely and effectively

Explore the options for reusing water from your home in your garden, and how to utilize it safely and for maximum efficiency. From the kitchen, laundry and bathroom – turn so-called “waste” graywater into a practical permaculture tool, for your plants and soil, and so increase the yield from your site

This course is your guide to graywater – what it is, where it comes from, how it is used, and why it is important. You’ll be given everything you need to understand how water can be collected from your home and reused on your site – and the tools to make the right choice of graywater system for you, your property, and your aims.


The skills you will gain in this self-paced online course:

  • Discover some of the potential uses for graywater on a permaculture plot
  • Appreciate how graywater systems can combine with rainwater catchment designs
  • Consider how small changes in behavior can make a big saving in water use
  • Understand how a range of behaviors can contribute to water conservation
  • Know how reusing graywater benefits your home, garden and the wider landscape
  • Recognize some of the potential constraints on a graywater system
  • Learn about where in the home graywater can be sourced
  • Gain knowledge about pipe and siphon systems to harvest graywater
  • Discover plumbing mechanisms and alterations that can be used to harvest graywater
  • Appreciate the importance of slope, climate and soil in distributing graywater
  • Discover easy methods for harvesting graywater from your washing machine
  • Explore the ways graywater can be used on a permaculture plot
  • Gain hints and tips for integrating graywater into an ecosystem
  • Analyze the factors that influence the choice of graywater system
  • Discover ways to maintain a well functioning system
  • Gain a wide array of useful tips to keep a graywater system safe and efficient
  • Appreciate how good graywater practices ensure maximum benefit to your plot

Graywater refers to water that has been used in the home for one of a variety of purposes, and which in general is then allowed to flow away down the drain. Graywater harvesting involves intervening in that cycle to prevent wastage and put that water to a secondary use. This is important for many reasons, such as being more mindful of how we use water – which is a finite resource, after all – and recharging groundwater supplies to benefit plants and animals in the local ecosystem, to saving money on your utility bills. The reuse of graywater also taps into the permaculture principle of taking what is normally viewed as a “waste” product and turning it into a valuable resource, and so making for an energy-efficient cycle of materials.

In this course you will explore all the possible sources of graywater – from the bathroom and toilet to the kitchen and the laundry. You’ll be introduced to the various types of greywater – clear, gray, dark and black – and where they come from, as well as advice on suitable treatment and uses for each type.

You’ll also learn about the various arrangements of pipes and siphons that can be used to harvest that water before it goes into the sewer system, and about the different purposes it can be utilized for to improve your soil, your plants and, ultimately, the yield from your site. We’ll explore using graywater to irrigate plants via infiltration galleys, as well as in greenhouses and constructed wetlands.

You will also be given the instructions, hints and tips you need to choose, install, maintain and use your own graywater system. This includes identifying the aims you have for a graywater system and analyzing the existing conditions on your site to determine the most suitable means of achieving your objective, as well as cost and aesthetic considerations. We’ll also give you the low-down on some of the legal issues you might need to investigate before getting started.

Crucially, you will also learn how to ensure that any water you recycle from your home is safe for the purposes you wish to use it for. From keeping pest insects out of your storage facilities to using different types of graywater on different types of crops, you’ll have the knowledge to be confident in going ahead with your graywater harvesting strategy, and that you have taken all the necessary measures to guarantee appropriate use.

We’ll look at the options when it comes to composting toilets, but even if you don’t go as far as to get your own, you’ll still find out how you can use your pee in your compost pile – and why your plants will love you for it!

You will also gain a whole host of practical hints and tips for conserving water in the home, which all help to protect this most precious of resources. These will cover everything from how you shower and brush your teeth, to the use of dishwashers and laundry washing machines. We’ll also look at some of the most wasteful ways in which Americans use water – from flushing the toilet to watering lawns – and look at more sustainable and water-wise alternatives. There are countless small changes that we can make to our behavior that can add up to make a big difference in our water consumption.

All this knowledge is at your fingertips, contained within this extensive and comprehensive course.

Build your self-sufficiency skills with a self-paced online learning experience