By Chris Nicholls

SYDNEY: Large differences in greywater regulations and laws make implementing education programs on its use difficult, according to Whirlpool senior category manager for laundry Michael Van Raay.

Greywater, if taken from any non-rinse cycles of a washing machines’ program can contain pathogens that are harmful to the ground and humans. The Master Plumbers Association of Queensland called today for education programs to be introduced after cases of people taking greywater from any wash cycle.

Van Raay said while the company did not have any warnings or educational programs in place at the moment, the regional differences in regulation made implementing a standardised program difficult.

“The reason we don’t refer to greywater is that every state in Australia has a different approach to greywater, and it’s very, very difficult for us to actually have a consistent message out there.”

He pointed to the Australian Capital Territory’s lack of regulation on the matter, as opposed to other states that banned its use.

“We’re not the voice of authority here, we’re just a manufacturer of washing machines and because there is an inconsistency Australia-wide, it’s not possible for us to go ‘There’s the law, there’s our stance on it, this is what we recommend.’”

Van Raay said Whirlpool was not working with local retailers to develop specialised local education programs, but said it was “a good consideration”.

“Our washing machines have grey water coming out of them, so we’re not completely out of it.”

He said the company had no plans to include educational material at this point in time, but did not rule out doing so in the future. He said he was unaware of other manufacturers who had implemented education programs to date.

Van Raay said while they did not put a warning about spraying greywater on gardens, it was something they could consider.

“Whirlpool certainly encourages people to recycle their grey water as much as possible.”

He said consumers should check with their local council and speak to their plumber to find out the specific greywater regulations for their area.

Other washing machine manufacturers were contacted for comment but did not respond before publication.