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North Humberside, United Kingdom Gb

At the beginning of this season due to my water butt not receiving any water from above I decided to connect all the water from my baths, showers and wash hand basin to a water butt that is then connected via a pipe to 4 water butts round my greenhouse.
This is connected to a submerged water pump in one of the water butts and that is then connected via hozelock connection to my hosepipe, enabling free watering every day.
However I have just been listening to the news regarding e coli in cucumbers and tomatoes watered with contaminated water.
My plants appear to be thriving fantastic.
Do I need to be concerned?
I do not use organic shampoos soaps etc

Many thanks for your replies :)
Did not expect such a quick response,and am not sure if I should be putting my reply on here or not as am new to this great site.
My grey water does not have any connection to sewerage etc so I guess I am safe thankfully.
Will let you know how I my yields do :)



I don't think that your grey water should have any detrimental effect on the crop, Gouryella, but this cucumber scare does raise questions. We will have to wait to find out the how they became contaminated.

29 May, 2011


E. coli is a normal bug to be found in animals & humans gut flora. The particular E.coli species that is thought to be responsible for the outbreak connected to contaminated cucumbers is endemic in cattle, but not in people. I understand that cattle manure was used in their cultivation, it's possible that some some surviving bugs got splashed onto the plants, or the manure wasn't composted.

Washing water does not contain bacteria in numbers that could cause harm.
S*** can be dangerous, composting toilets etc. have to be used and emptied carefully, but not many people have those. There is far more danger from faeces from pets, chickens, birds etc.

29 May, 2011


just be careful you dont wash any meat derived protien down your sink . swill these of first . the plantsseam to be loving it and if you dont mind me saying thats a brilliant idea .

29 May, 2011


Water spreads bacteria but soap kills it, so from what you say it should be ok as it does not involve your soil pipe.

29 May, 2011


This came up as a question on GQT on Radio 4 today. The advice was to use bath / shower water but not washing up water as that is very dirty. Do you have to run the hot tap to get hot water through? That water is completely clean & should be collected for watering.

29 May, 2011


You could tip your washing up water from your washing up bowl straight onto your flower beds instead of letting it go into the butts. No problems there, especially if you use eco friendly washing up liquid.
I have done this in many droughts over the years with no problems.
Won't work if you use a dishwasher though lol!

29 May, 2011

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