Blackwater and Water Recycling

When the topic of wastewater recycling comes up, most experts say that you should only recycle greywater and dispose of all blackwater. Blackwater, or sewage as it�s sometimes called, is the wastewater that comes from toilets, garbage grinders, and dishwashers. This sewage is different from greywater because it contains bacteria, pathogens, and food particles, which can rot. It is also more difficult to treat than greywater. But there are also some arguments for the recycling of blackwater and how it can help your home.


Wastewater from our homes comes from many different sources. The wastewater that comes from showers, washing machines, and sinks is considered greywater because, while it has particles and contaminants, they�re not deemed dangerous. The rest of the wastewater, from toilets, dishwashers, and garbage grinders, can contain food particles, feces, and other human body fluids and is considered hazardous. This is what makes up blackwater.

Blackwater is generally not recycled, mostly because it contains so much sewage that it is hard to clean adequately for use. Yet, science has come up with systems that will recycle blackwater, most systems filtering the water enough to be used outdoors in watering lawns and plants from underground. There are even systems that will make blackwater clean enough to be potable (drinkable), but those systems are very expensive, hard to maintain, and the people who drink that water have to get over the stigma of drinking toilet water.

Blackwater Recycling Systems

The filtering system for removing usable water from blackwater is generally outside the home. Water is piped to it, and then it goes through a process before being used to water the lawn or non-food gardens via underground pipe systems. Water recycled from blackwater should never be used as drinking water or on food crops because they could still contain harmful bacteria. There are five basic steps to blackwater filtration:

Benefits of Blackwater Recycling

The benefits of blackwater recycling are larger than a person might think. It isn�t all about keeping your lawn watered, though that is an excellent use for the recycled water. The filtered blackwater is also good for the environment and other benefits which include:

Problems with Blackwater Recycling

There are certainly several advantages to working with blackwater recycling. Unfortunately there are also disadvantages that might make people reconsider when deciding to put in a blackwater recycling system. Some of these drawbacks include:

As filtering wastewater from home gets more and more popular, many people are looking to not only recycle greywater, but blackwater as well. Extracting usable water from sewage means that there is hope for the future for water filtering and recycling. If the disadvantages of a blackwater recycling system can be overcome, then the advantages of such a system can move to the next level of refiltering water.