Soapy Dish Water ("Black Water")

Sink full of dirty waterCan I use the water from my sink to water my lawn?

The answer is NO! Although tempting and seemlingly harmless, all wastewater in Nebraska must be treated.

It cannot be discharged to the land, or to surface or ground water.

It cannot be used for irrigating lawns, to fill a pond, run through a pipe to a nearby stream, or dumped to a cesspool.

What is Considered Wastewater?

Wastewater comes from ordinary living processes: bathing, toilet flushing, laundry, dishwashing, etc. It comes from residential and domestic sources.

Commercial wastewater comes from non-domestic sources, such as beauty salon, taxidermy, furniture refinishing, musical instrument cleaning, or auto body repair shops. This wastewater may contain hazardous materials and requires special treatment or disposal

Wastewater is broken into two categories, depending upon the source.

Gray water: Gray water is from showers, baths, whirlpool tubs, washing machines, dishwashers and sinks other than the kitchen sink.

Black water: Black water is from toilets and kitchen sinks as shown in the photo. Definitions vary from state to state: Some states define blackwater as wastewater only from toilets.

Source: University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension. Learn more about Wastewater Treatment Systems including septic, lagoon and more on the University of Nebraska On-site Wastewater Treatment Site

This Can You Guess It?? photo appeared in the August 2005 Nebline Newsletter.

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