• AbeerAlbalawneh Department of Bioenvironmental Systems Engineering, National Taiwan University, Taipei 10610, TAIWAN
  • Tsun-Kuo Chang Department of Bioenvironmental Systems Engineering, National Taiwan University, Taipei 10610, TAIWAN



Greywater Quantity, Greywater Treatment, Greywater Quality, Greywater Irrigation


In this study, we reviewed greywater characteristics and various treatment technologies with the aim of coming up with the schematic of greywater recycling system designed specifically for restricted agricultural irrigation reuse.  Characteristics of greywater are highly variable; greywater amount varies from 50% to 80% of the wastewater volume produced by households.  All types of greywater show good biodegradability in terms of COD: BOD5 ratios.  The ratio of BOD5/COD in greywater ranged from 0.31 to 0.71.  Most countries apply the same standards to reclaimed municipal wastewater as they do to greywater.  However, some countries have established specialized standards for greywater reuse. Technologies used for greywater treatment are classified into physical, chemical, biological, and natural systems, or a combination of these.  Using physical greywater treatment processes solely as the main treatment method is insufficient for greywater treatment, chemical greywater treatment processes are attractive for single household low-strength greywater treatment systems, as the variability in the strength and flow of the greywater did not affect their treatment performance.  Constructed wetland can be regarded as the most environmentally friendly and cost-effective technology for greywater treatment and reuses.  Finally, the study suggests the possible greywater recycling scheme for agricultural irrigation reuse purposes.


Download data is not yet available.


Agency-UK, E., 2011. Greywater for domestic users: an information guide. Published by environmental agency. Available at:

Al-Hamaiedeh, H., Bino, M., 2010. Effect of treated grey water reuse in irrigation on soil and plants. Desalination 256, 115-119. DOI:

Al-Jayyousi, O.R., 2003. Greywater reuse: towards sustainable water management. Desalination 156, 181-192. DOI:

Al-Mughalles, M.H., Rahman, R.A., Suja, F.B., Mahmud, M., Jalil, N., 2012. Household greywater quantity and quality in Sana’a, Yemen. EJGE 17, 1025-1034.

Assayed, A., 2014. Development of a new and innovative greywater treatment technique for urban agriculture: Drawer Compacted Sand Filter, (Ph.D Dissertation), University of Surrey.

Bani-Melhem, K., Al-Qodah, Z., Al-Shannag, M., Qasaimeh, A., Qtaishat, M.R., Alkasrawi, M., 2015. On the performance of real grey water treatment using a submerged membrane bioreactor system. Journal of Membrane Science 476, 40-49. DOI:

Bartram, J., Fewtrell, L., Stenström, T.-A., 2001. Harmonised assessment of risk and risk management for water-related infectious disease: an overview. Water quality: Guidelines, standards and health, 1-16.

Bino, M., Al-Beiruti, S., Ayesh, M., McIlwaine, S., Redwood, M., 2010. Greywater use in rural home gardens in Karak, Jordan. Greywater use in the Middle East: technical, social, economic and policy issues. The International Development Research Centre (IDRC) and the Center for the Study of the Built Environment (CSBE) International Meeting on Graywater Use, Aqaba, Jordan, February 2007. Practical Action Publishing, pp. 29-58. DOI:

Birks, R., Hills, S., 2007. Characterisation of indicator organisms and pathogens in domestic greywater for recycling. Environmental monitoring and assessment 129, 61-69. DOI:

Boyjoo, Y., Pareek, V.K., Ang, M., 2013. A review of greywater characteristics and treatment processes. Water Science & Technology 67, 1403-1424. DOI:

Casanova, L.M., Little, V., Frye, R.J., Gerba, C.P., 2001. A SURVEY OF THE MICROBIAL QUALITY OF RECYCLED HOUSEHOLD GRAYWATER1. Wiley Online Library.

Chaillou, K., Gérente, C., Andrès, Y., Wolbert, D., 2011. Bathroom greywater characterization and potential treatments for reuse. Water, Air, & Soil Pollution 215, 31-42. DOI:

Chong, M.N., Cho, Y.J., Poh, P.E., Jin, B., 2015. Evaluation of Titanium dioxide photocatalytic technology for the treatment of reactive Black 5 dye in synthetic and real greywater effluents. Journal of Cleaner Production 89, 196-202. DOI:

Christova-Boal, D., Eden, R.E., McFarlane, S., 1996. An investigation into greywater reuse for urban residential properties. Desalination 106, 391-397. DOI:

Dalahmeh, S.S., Hylander, L.D., Vinneras, B., Pell, M., Oborn, I., Jonsson, H., 2011. Potential of organic filter materials for treating greywater to achieve irrigation quality: a review. Water Science & Technology 63, 1832-1840. DOI:

Dallas, S., Scheffe, B., Ho, G., 2004. Reedbeds for greywater treatment—case study in Santa Elena-Monteverde, Costa Rica, Central America. Ecological Engineering 23, 55-61. DOI:

Drechsel, P., Mahjoub, O., Keraita, B., 2015. Social and Cultural Dimensions in Wastewater Use. Wastewater. Springer, pp. 75-92. DOI:

Elmitwalli, T.A., Otterpohl, R., 2007. Anaerobic biodegradability and treatment of grey water in upflow anaerobic sludge blanket (UASB) reactor. Water Research 41, 1379-1387. DOI:

Eriksson, E., Auffarth, K., Henze, M., Ledin, A., 2002. Characteristics of grey wastewater. Urban water 4, 85-104. DOI:

Eriksson, E., Donner, E., 2009. Metals in greywater: sources, presence and removal efficiencies. Desalination 248, 271-278. DOI:

Flowers, B., 2004. Domestic Water Conservation: Greywater, Rainwater and Other Innovations.

Friedler, E., Hadari, M., 2006. Economic feasibility of on-site greywater reuse in multi-storey buildings. Desalination 190, 221-234. DOI:

Friedler, E., Kovalio, R., Ben-Zvi, A., 2006. Comparative study of the microbial quality of greywater treated by three on-site treatment systems. Environmental technology 27, 653-663. DOI:

Ghaitidak, D.M., Yadav, K.D., 2013. Characteristics and treatment of greywater—A review. Environmental Science and Pollution Research 20, 2795-2809. DOI:

Ghunmi, L., 2009. Characterization and treatment of grey water; options for (re) use. Wageningen Universiteit (Ph.D Dissertation), The Netherlands, ISBN 978-90-8585-393-0.

Ghunmi, L.A., Zeeman, G., Fayyad, M., van Lier, J.B., 2011. Grey water treatment systems: A review. Critical reviews in environmental science and technology 41, 657-698. DOI:

Gross, A., Shmueli, O., Ronen, Z., Raveh, E., 2007. Recycled vertical flow constructed wetland (RVFCW)—a novel method of recycling greywater for irrigation in small communities and households. Chemosphere 66, 916-923. DOI:

Gulyas, H., Choromanski, P., Furmanska, M., Muelling, N., Otterpohl, R., 2007. Photocatalytic oxidation of biologically treated greywater in the presence of powdered activated carbon. International Conference on Sustainable Sanitation, Food and Water Security for Latin America, Fortaleza, Brazil.

Halalsheh, M., Dalahmeh, S., Sayed, M., Suleiman, W., Shareef, M., Mansour, M., Safi, M., 2008. Grey water characteristics and treatment options for rural areas in Jordan. Bioresource technology 99, 6635-6641. DOI:

Harikumar, P., Mol, B., 2012. A Synoptic Study on the preparation of a liquid waste management plan for Kerala State, India. Environment and Natural Resources Research 2, p74. DOI:

Itayama, T., Kiji, M., Suetsugu, A., Tanaka, N., Saito, T., Iwami, N., Mizuochi, M., Inamori, Y., 2006. On site experiments of the slanted soil treatment systems for domestic gray water. Water Science & Technology 53, 193-201. DOI:

Jabornig, S., Podmirseg, S.M., 2015. A novel fixed fibre biofilm membrane process for on‐site greywater reclamation requiring no fouling control. Biotechnology and bioengineering 112, 484-493. DOI:

Jamrah, A., Al‐Omari, A., Al‐Qasem, L., Ghani, N.A., 2006. Assessment of availability and characteristics of greywater in Amman. Water international 31, 210-220. DOI:

Jefferson, B., Laine, A., Parsons, S., Stephenson, T., Judd, S., 2000. Technologies for domestic wastewater recycling. Urban water 1, 285-292. DOI:

Jefferson, B., Palmer, A., Jeffrey, P., Stuetz, R., Judd, S., 2004. Grey water characterisation and its impact on the selection and operation of technologies for urban reuse. Water Science & Technology 50, 157-164. DOI:

Jenssen, P., Vråle, L., 2003. Greywater treatment in combined biofilter/constructed wetlands in cold climate. C. Werner et al (2003) Ecosan–closing the loop, 2nd int. symp. Ecological sanitation, Lübeck, Germany, GTZ.

JSMO, 2008. Jordan Standards and Metrology Organization (JSMO) (2008). Greywater Jordanian Standard JS:1776.

Kariuki, F.W., Kotut, K., Nganga, V.G., 2011. The Potential of a low cost technology for the greywater treatment. Open Environmental Engineering Journal 4, 32-39. DOI:

Kim, J., Song, I., Oh, H., Jong, J., Park, J., Choung, Y., 2009. A laboratory-scale graywater treatment system based on a membrane filtration and oxidation process—characteristics of graywater from a residential complex. Desalination 238, 347-357. DOI:

Kim, R.-H., Lee, S., Jeong, J., Lee, J.-H., Kim, Y.-K., 2007. Reuse of greywater and rainwater using fiber filter media and metal membrane. Desalination 202, 326-332. DOI:

Kivaisi, A.K., 2001. The potential for constructed wetlands for wastewater treatment and reuse in developing countries: a review. Ecological engineering 16, 545-560. DOI:

Knerr, H., Engelhart, M., Hansen, J., Sagawe, G., Knerr, H., Engelhart, M., 2008. Separated grey-and blackwater treatment by the KOMPLETT water recycling system-A possibility to close domestic water cycle. International IWA Conference Sanitation Challenge, New Sanitation Concepts an d Models of Governance, pp. 260-268.

Lamine, M., Bousselmi, L., Ghrabi, A., 2007. Biological treatment of grey water using sequencing batch reactor. Desalination 215, 127-132. DOI:

Lazarova, V., Hills, S., Birks, R., 2003. Using recycled water for non-potable, urban uses: a review with particular reference to toilet flushing. Water Supply 3, 69-77. DOI:

Leal, L.H., Temmink, H., Zeeman, G., Buisman, C., 2011. Characterization and anaerobic biodegradability of grey water. Desalination 270, 111-115. DOI:

Lesjean, B., Gnirss, R., 2006. Grey water treatment with a membrane bioreactor operated at low SRT and low HRT. Desalination 199, 432-434. DOI:

Li, F., Wichmann, K., Otterpohl, R., 2009. Review of the technological approaches for grey water treatment and reuses. Science of the Total Environment 407, 3439-3449. DOI:

Li, Z., Gulyas, H., Jahn, M., Gajurel, D., Otterpohl, R., 2004. Greywater treatment by constructed wetlands in combination with TiO2-based photocatalytic oxidation for suburban and rural areas without sewer system. Water Science & Technology 48, 101-106. DOI:

Lin, C.-J., Lo, S.-L., Kuo, C.-Y., Wu, C.-H., 2005. Pilot-scale electrocoagulation with bipolar aluminum electrodes for on-site domestic greywater reuse. Journal of environmental engineering 131, 491-495. DOI:

Maeda, M., Nakada, K., Kawamoto, K., Ikeda, M., 1996. Area-wide use of reclaimed water in Tokyo, Japan. Water Science and Technology 33, 51-57. DOI:

Mandal, D., Labhasetwar, P., Dhone, S., Dubey, A.S., Shinde, G., Wate, S., 2011. Water conservation due to greywater treatment and reuse in urban setting with specific context to developing countries. Resources, Conservation and Recycling 55, 356-361. DOI:

Manjate, E., Lana, L., Moraes, D., Vasconcellos, G., Maciel, G., Von Sperling, M., 2015. First stage of the French vertical flow constructed wetland system: experiments with the reduction of surface area and number of units. Journal of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene for Development 5, 50-55. DOI:

March, J., Gual, M., Orozco, F., 2004. Experiences on greywater re-use for toilet flushing in a hotel (Mallorca Island, Spain). Desalination 164, 241-247. DOI:

Merz, C., Scheumann, R., El Hamouri, B., Kraume, M., 2007. Membrane bioreactor technology for the treatment of greywater from a sports and leisure club. Desalination 215, 37-43. DOI:

Metcalf, Eddy, 1991. Wastewater Engineering: Treatment disposal and Reuse. Irwin Mcgraw Hill.

Morel, A., Diener, S., 2006. Greywater Management in Low an [ie And] Middle-income Countries: Review of Different Treatment Systems for Households Or Neighbourhoods. Sandec at Eawag.

Noah, M., 2002. Graywater use still a gray area. Journal of environmental health 64, 22.

Nolde, E., 2000. Greywater reuse systems for toilet flushing in multi-storey buildings–over ten years experience in Berlin. Urban water 1, 275-284. DOI:

O’Toole, J., Sinclair, M., Malawaraarachchi, M., Hamilton, A., Barker, S.F., Leder, K., 2012. Microbial quality assessment of household greywater. Water research 46, 4301-4313. DOI:

Palmquist, H., Hanæus, J., 2005. Hazardous substances in separately collected grey-and blackwater from ordinary Swedish households. Science of the Total Environment 348, 151-163. DOI:

Paulo, P., Begosso, L., Pansonato, N., Shrestha, R., Boncz, M., 2009. Design and configuration criteria for wetland systems treating greywater. DOI:

Perth, 2008. Perth Grey Water . Accessed 19 November 2015.

Pidou, M., Avery, L., Stephenson, T., Jeffrey, P., Parsons, S.A., Liu, S., Memon, F.A., Jefferson, B., 2008. Chemical solutions for greywater recycling. Chemosphere 71, 147-155. DOI:

Pidou, M., Memon, F.A., Stephenson, T., Jefferson, B., Jeffrey, P., 2007. Greywater recycling: treatment options and applications. Proceedings of the ICE-Engineering Sustainability 160, 119-131. DOI:

Prathapar, S., Jamrah, A., Ahmed, M., Al Adawi, S., Al Sidairi, S., Al Harassi, A., 2005. Overcoming constraints in treated greywater reuse in Oman. Desalination 186, 177-186. DOI:

Ramona, G., Green, M., Semiat, R., Dosoretz, C., 2004. Low strength graywater characterization and treatmentby direct membrane filtration. Desalination 170, 241-250. DOI:

Sanchez, M., Rivero, M., Ortiz, I., 2010. Photocatalytic oxidation of grey water over titanium dioxide suspensions. Desalination 262, 141-146. DOI:

Scheumann, R., Merz, C., Atasoy, E., Murat, S., Baban, A., ElHamouri, B., Kraume, M., 2007. Greywater treatment with membrane bioreactors: Comparison of three different reactors operated with synthetic and real greywater. Proceedings.

Shin, H.-S., Lee, S.-M., Seo, I.-S., Kim, G.-O., Lim, K.-H., Song, J.-S., 1998. Pilot-scale SBR and MF operation for the removal of organic and nitrogen compounds from greywater. Water science and technology 38, 80-88. DOI:

Sinclair, R.G., 2010. Wastewater Irrigation and Health: Assessing and Mitigating Risk in Low-Income Countries. DOI:

Uddin, S.M.N., Li, Z., Adamowski, J.F., Ulbrich, T., Mang, H.-P., Ryndin, R., Norvanchig, J., Lapegue, J., Wriege-Bechthold, A., Cheng, S., 2015. Feasibility of a ‘greenhouse system’for household greywater treatment in nomadic-cultured communities in peri-urban Ger areas of Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia: an approach to reduce greywater-borne hazards and vulnerability. Journal of Cleaner Production. DOI:

Wallace, S.D., Knight, R.L., 2006. Small-scale Constructed Wetland Treatment Systems: Feasibility, Design Criteria and O&M Requirements. IWA Publishing.

WHO-guidelines, 2006. Guidelines for the Safe Use of Wastewater, Excreta and Greywater: Policy and regulatory aspects. World Health Organization.

WHO, 2015. Sanitation safety planning: manual for safe use and disposal of wastewater, greywater and excreta.

Winward, G.P., Avery, L.M., Frazer-Williams, R., Pidou, M., Jeffrey, P., Stephenson, T., Jefferson, B., 2008. A study of the microbial quality of grey water and an evaluation of treatment technologies for reuse. Ecological engineering 32, 187-197. DOI:

Wurochekke, A.A., Harun, N.A., Mohamed, R.M.S.R., Kassim, A.H.B.M., 2014. Constructed Wetland of Lepironia Articulata for Household Greywater Treatment. APCBEE Procedia 10, 103-109. DOI:

Wurochekke, A.A., Mohamed, R., Saphira, R.M., bin Mohd Kassim, A.H., 2015. Sustainable Extensive On-Site Constructed Wetland for some Bacteriological Reduction in Kitchen Greywater. Applied Mechanics and Materials. Trans Tech Publ, pp. 1199-1204. DOI:

Zuma, B.M., Tandlich, R., Whittington-Jones, K.J., Burgess, J.E., 2009. Mulch tower treatment system Part I: Overall performance in greywater treatment. Desalination 242, 38-56. DOI:




How to Cite