We often get asked if Plaine Products are gray water safe, and we’re happy to say the answer is yes! Whether you’re using Plaine Products in the shower, in the bath, or to wash your hands, you can collect the runoff for other uses safely.
What is Gray Water?
Gray water, also known as greywater outside the US, refers to wastewater from sinks, showers, baths, washing machines, or dishwashers. i.e., all streams except for the wastewater from toilets. (Wastewater from toilets is known as blackwater.) Gray water can also be water collected from the rain in water barrels. In addition to being fecal-free, gray water also shouldn’t have any heavy grease or toxic chemicals. As long as it meets these standards, gray water is safe for reuse for things like toilet flushing, landscaping or crop irrigation, and other non-drinking uses.
As the news continues to remind us, global water resource supplies are worsening. Droughts in the Southwest and California have increased interest in water conservation. Reusing gray water is one good way to help solve this problem by reducing the demand for water supplies.
What Can Gray Water be Used for?
The simplest way to reuse gray water is to water plants or gardens. This can look like anything from keeping a bucket in the shower for excess water, to having a rain barrel outside to catch rain, to configuring your plumbing to pipe gray water to where you want to use it.
Depending on where you live, recycled gray water from showers and bathtubs can be used for flushing toilets, but you’re going to have to investigate further if that solution is of interest. It’s legal in most European and Australian jurisdictions but only on a state-by-state basis in the US.
New ways to use gray water are coming online all of the time. IKEA is prototyping an easy-to-install shower system that would cycle water for reuse, reducing water consumption by 80 percent and energy consumption by 70 percent. They’ve been working on it since 2020 and it should be available soon.
Why are Plaine Products Gray Water Safe?
Plaine Products are made from natural ingredients which means that when they are washed down the drain, there are no toxic chemicals or toxins in the water to create problems. Detergents, like sodium laurel sulfate (SLS) or sodium laureate sulfate (SLES) that are in many mainstream cleaning and personal care products mean that water contained by those products would not be safe to water plants or gardens. In general, you want biodegradable personal care products, like Plaine Products, for any gray water uses.