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How We Manage Our Grey Water With A Pond

To manage the grey water of our house I constructed a small pond near our house. It took my wife and me a week of laborious tiring digging (Thank you for your help honey.) to get a big enough hole for the pond. It didn’t help that the soil was rock hard.

What is greywater?

Greywater consists of all dirty water that does not contain feces or urine. In contrast, wastewater that contains feces or urine is called black water and is usually contaminated with pathogens. While greywater is not drinkable or safe for bathing or cleaning, it is not as harmful as black water. Greywater can be a great source for watering plants or even as a fertilizer.

Greywater usually comes from the following sources:

  • Showers
  • Bathroom sinks
  • Kitchen sinks
  • Washing machines or laundry buckets

Managing greywater

The way we manage our greywater is by collecting all the greywater from the above-mentioned sources into a canal that flows into our pond.
In our pond, we grow Taro, and Kangkong (Ipomoea aquatica). We only eat the leaves of kangkong, not the stems, because the stems can accumulate heavy metals and other toxins. We also grow trees around the pond and the canal which can benefit from the extra water, especially in the dry season.
Over time greywater can add large amounts of organic matter that can be used to fertilize plants. This organic matter comes from dead human skin from bathing, as well as from washing vegetables, and small kitchen scraps from washing dishes.
It is important that if you have a greywater system like this that you use bio-degradable soaps and detergents, or else the water will be contaminated with chemicals that are potentially toxic to plant and marine life, as well as soil microorganisms.
Once the greywater enters the pond it is filtered through the soil biota and safe for plants to consume.

Greywater pond with kangkong growing in it
The evolution of our greywater pond over the years. Filled with water spinach.

Benefits of The Pond

Besides growing food in the pond and a way to manage greywater, the pond also serves as a catchment for rainwater and organic matter which is especially useful in the dry season. And during the rainy season, it prevents water run-off. Not only that but the pond also serves as a way for increasing biodiversity. We sometimes see herons in the pond, and frequently frogs and toads. More than other areas on the farm the pond is always full of insects. It is truly a hub of biodiversity because water is life. Another benefit is that during typhoons the pond often overflows a bit, fertilizing the surrounding soil. It does not overflow so much as to cause flood damage.
Throughout the dry season, the pond is always the most greenest and thriving part of the farm.

Thank you for reading.

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