Tiny Homes and Greywater Reuse

The compact, efficient nature of tiny homes means that when it comes to water, every drop counts. Many tiny homes are dependent on water tanks for supply and septic or holding tanks for waste. Greywater reuse can extend your water supply and decrease the size of your septic system or reduce your pumping needs.  The right greywater reuse system can help you recapture, clean, and reuse lightly used greywater from sinks, showers, and washing machines. And when combined with a waterless toilet, onsite water greywater reuse can provide a complete wastewater solution. 

What is Greywater?

Sometimes also spelled graywater, this wastewater is lightly used water from showers and baths, washing machines, and non-kitchen sinks. 

How Can I Use Greywater?

The most common use for greywater is irrigation. Greywater is suitable for irrigating most garden areas including ornamental beds and lawns.

In tiny homes, it can be easy to plumb greywater for use in toilet flushing.

Keep in mind that even though the treated greywater looks clear, it’s not potable and shouldn’t be consumed by animals or people. 

Greywater reuse can help tiny homeowners extend their water supply and decrease the size of their septic system or reduce their pumping needs.

Greywater Reuse and Rainwater Capture

Rainwater capture combined with greywater reuse can be a powerful solution. Rainwater can even be filtered through a greywater reuse system to remove impurities. In many areas rainwater is only seasonally available, whereas greywater is available every time you shower or wash your clothes. Combining the two can make your tiny home’s water supply, resilient, and drought-tolerant.

Benefits of Greywater Reuse

Save Money

The average American family uses more than 300 gallons of water per day at home. Roughly 30% of this is outdoor use. If families can meet their outdoor watering needs with recycled water, they would pay 30% less for their water, and save 90 gallons of water per day.

That’s over 32,000 gallons of water saved per year!

On average, households using the Estuary greywater resume system can save $1000 per year on their water bill.

We can help you decipher your water bill and calculate your potential savings.

Conserve Water

Over ten years, the average household using a LeapFrog Estuary to recycle their water will save 270,000 gallons of water. Using treated greywater for irrigation and toilet flushing reduces fresh water demand and conserves potable water.

Design and Aesthetics

In addition to their technological advantages, plant-based water reuse systems also add beauty to the landscape, since on the outside, they are lush planter boxes full of native plants. This can be particularly beneficial for tiny homes, which often have wheels or a chassis that many homeowners would like to screen from view. Your greywater reuse system could do double duty: a beautiful planter box hides your wheels or chassis, and on the inside it cleans your greywater for reuse.

Eco-Friendly Home

Greywater reuse promotes sustainability and minimizes environmental impact, as it reduces the strain on water sources and wastewater treatment facilities.

Beautiful plant-based water reuse systems can be great for screening a tiny home's wheels or a chassis from view.

Greywater Reuse Options

There are several types of onsite water reuse systems: chemical-based, filtration-based, moving bed bioreactors, and plant-based.

In filtration greywater reuse systems, greywater moves through a series of physical filters, such as screens or sand filters, to remove debris and clean the water for reuse. Filtration systems do adequately clean water, but the filters can clog, and periodically they need to be replaced. Often they need additional sterilization such as chlorine or UV lights.

Chemical-based systems add chemicals such as chlorine to greywater to disinfect it. These systems sterilize water, but don’t truly remove all the contaminants in wastewater.

Bioreactor-based systems, including specialized Membrane Bioreactors (MBRs) and Moving Bed Biofilm Reactors (MBBRs), consist of an aerated tank in which bacteria feed off pollutants in the water. These systems require climate control, so they generally are placed in a garage or utility room. The carriers need to be replaced from time to time, and since these systems are sensitive to bleach they can be less resilient than other options.

Learn more about our all natural, plant-based water reuse systems.