Household behaviour and motivations for greywater use

M Sinclair, J O'Toole, K Leder, M Malawaraarachchi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


This paper presents the results of a household greywater survey conducted in Melbourne in 2011. It describes the patterns of use of greywater over a fiveyear period, covering the time when tap water restrictions, since relaxed, were at their most stringent. It also explores the motivation of households for using greywater and for discontinuing its use. Awareness of Victorian greywater guidelines and their influence on householder behaviour is also described. Understanding the drivers for, and barriers to, the use of household greywater and the ensuing rates of initiation and sustained use allows for better prediction of tap water savings and design of integrated household water systems. Use of alternative water sources must not present unacceptable health or environmental risks; hence it is important that relevant interventions are in place to ensure that greywater is used safely and sustainably. One such intervention is provision of guidelines. While there are relevant guidelines in the Victorian jurisdiction and almost half of greywater-using households were familiar with their existence, this did not always result in household compliance with them. Further investigation is required about the degree of familiarity of householders with guideline content; the best ways to communicate important messages about household greywater use and barriers to household greywater use.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)83 - 87
Number of pages5
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - May 2012

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