Grey Water Installation

At Ray’s request here is a more detailed look at how to install a grey water tank, Dave from Albury style.

The first step is to select a site for your new tank. Important things to take into account are the distance from your water source (closer is better) and the relative heights of your tank and water source. The second one is really the most important because if the top of your tank is higher than the point your water is coming from you’ll either end up with a half empty tank, or worse, a back flow of water from the tank to your laundry . The tank also needs some elevation so that you can get the water out of it.

Step two is to go to the back corner of the yard behind the garden shed, on in my case behind The Hut. Here you should find besa blocks, old sections of fence and spare planks. The saw horses will probably be handy too.


The next stop is the front of the shed, where you can collect screws, cable ties, a drill and a saw.


This is where the noisy stuff begins. Cut off the top and bottom of the fence palings, then screw some extra planks in the middle to reinforce it. This is the platform that the tank will sit on.

The hose fittings should now be installed in the tank. Most tanks will come with some crappy little stop cock, but throw that away and get a proper one that you can attach a garden hose to. This is where you get to break out the hole saw and copious amounts of silicon

16092009(004)I attached a half inch hose fitting, because that’s the type of hose that I have, but I think that 3/4 inch fittings and hose would give you better water flow – that might be a later upgrade.

Now that you’re finished with the sharp tools it’s officially time to start drinking beer.

The besa bricks can now be placed in a pattern on the ground designed to support your newly built platform, the tank placed on top and the collection hose run from the top of the tank to your water source.


While you can connect your collection hose right to the drain pipe, having kids means that we still dispose of some nasty biological stuff down the laundry sink that we don’t really want in the tank.

And now the final result.

16092009(003)Summer time lawn, here we come.

13 thoughts on “Grey Water Installation

  1. We’ve been out to lunch @ Beechworth today (someone’s birthday). Just got back and now I’m confronted with this!

    You know, I’ve been wondering how you could get a 500 lt water tank for $99 and now I know. Dave, that looks more like a compost bin.

    Anyway, thanks for the handy DIY tips – there is a lot to take in so I shall bookmark this post for future reference.

    I can tell that you are one serious home handyman & gardener by the contents of your shed. I’m particularly impressed with the plug-in line trimmer. Mine’s got a petrol engine – which would you say is the more environmentally friendly and/or has the lowest carbon footprint? I’m not sure.

    Btw, it occurs to me that this ‘grey water’ thing could simply be a way to get around the water restrictions. What is to stop us from connecting the feed hose direct to the laundry tap and who the hell would know? I bet it goes on a lot.

  2. If you look to the left you’ll see the petrol brush cutter, Ray – the electric line trimmer hasn’t had much of a run for a long time.

    Regarding ‘cheating’ grey water, by definition any water that’s used in the house and then captured is grey water. It’s an enormous loop hole and I agree that it probably gets abused a lot.

  3. Ah yes, I see it. Much better. I had one of those electric line trimmers once – it was OK but it needs a bloody long cord! You’d think someone would invent one that operates by electricity transmitted through the airwaves (I’m sure they could do it!)

  4. Those wimpy electric ones that have the motor down the bottom are terrible. We got an 800W one that has the motor in the same location as the petrol versions and it kicks proper bottom. There wasn’t anything wrong with the nice petrol powered brush cutter (a proper brush cutter it is too, not a glorified whipper snipper), I’m just lazy and it’s slightly quieter.

    As for the carbon footprint, who gives a shit? Stop exhaling if you’re that concerned.

  5. I note with interest a comment that watering gardens with potable water but treating it as “grey water” could be a way of getting around water restrictions and could be used by many. I agree that the odd person here and there would like to fool the authorities into believing that it is grey water. When we consider the implications its just not worth the effort or the potable water usage. Why not actually reuse the grey water in the first place and save. What are the savings: Saving up to 50% on the homes water bill, providing the garden with fairly clean irrigation water, a beautiful garden all year round, saving clean potable water for drinking and bathing. Now thats beating the water restrictions.

  6. I agree with you, and I think that most people who go to the trouble of installing grey water systems do the right thing. Sadly though, there will always be people who bend the rules.

  7. Blades? Why do you need blades, Dave? Have you got a jungle out there? I realise those spools are a pain in the butt but mine came with two heads (no it wasn’t made in Tasmania). The other head, which I use, allows you to just poke the two strands in separately. You buy a roll and cut lengths of about 30cm. OK, you have to replace them more often but it’s easy. And yes it does a great job – provided you’re not cutting paths through virgin bush.

    Moving on to more intersting topics, I’m going to the game tonight. My daughter secured some corporate tickets again, on level 2 at the G. I’m pretty nervous about it though.

  8. Not so lucky, Dave. I’ve had to cancel – too many things to do. Anyway, I think the Saints can still win it without me there. They certainly deserve a place in the GF this year.

  9. Albury Tigers 13.5 (83) giving Yarrawonga 1.3 (9) an absolute thrashing in the O&M grand final. And it’s not even half time yet.

    Off-topic and no, I’m not “stalking” you on Twitter (the above tweet was in your sidebar) but two things come to mind about that:

    1) Bloody hell, why did Yarrawonga even bother?

    2) Are you at the game or something? And how’s Lavington looking today?

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