greywater

Many home gardeners are now embracing the home vegetable patch and enjoying the benefits of their own fresh produce. There are some issues that should be considered for your own safety however when it comes to growing your own.

Greywater Use

Influenced by long periods of drought and having learnt to appreciate how important water is, many Australian gardeners are now using Greywater to water their gardens. Grey water is used water from bathrooms, laundries and kitchens, excluding that from toilets bidets and urinals which are known as black water. Grey water use has the potential to save gardeners many thousands of litres of water but it does have limitations.

One of the limitations is the health concerns with greywater use, in particular the possibility of harmful bacteria. For this reason it is recommended that grey water is applied to gardens through subsurface irrigation, and that it should not be applied to vegetables or fruits, especially those which will be eaten raw.

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Pesticides Residues

Please refer to our section on CHEMICALS for more information

Manures and Compost Use

If you are using manures and or composts as soil amendments or fertilisers in the home vegetable patch, you should take some precautions. Pathogens such as E. coli may be present in manures and composts and these can contaminate produce.

General Safety Tips
  • Ensure that manure is well composted before use and do not use fresh manure on food crops
  • Manage the risk by working the compost or manure into the ground to minimise contamination by wind drift or rain runoff.
  • Try to maintain as long as possible between application of manure/compost and the harvest
  • Ensure that you thoroughly wash your hands before preparing food to consume
  • Ensure that fruit and vegetables are also washed before consumption.

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