SABS publishes standard that sets guidelines for domestic use of greywater



 The South African Bureau of Standards (SABS) has published a South African National Standard (SANS) that sets the guidelines and requirements for greywater reuse systems. SANS 1732: 2019 provides for single re-use of greywater for sub-surface irrigation of gardens and the treatment of greywater for flushing toilets.

Garth Strachan, Acting CEO of SABS. Credit: IMD“In a water scarce South Africa, SANS 1732 provides basic requirements and guidelines for ordinary households to safely reuse water. Most households cannot afford to install sophisticated and expensive water treatment or collection applications and SANS 1732 offers practical solutions to reuse water from baths, showers and wash hand basins for watering gardens or flushing toilets. The reuse of untreated greywater will significantly reduce the demand on constrained water resources and enable South Africans to contribute towards reducing water consumption,” says Garth Strachan, Acting CEO of SABS.

SANS 1732: Greywater Reuse Systems – General Requirements, was locally developed over several months through a technical committee (TC 60), made up of a group of industry experts and specialists. Various reviews of international standards; South African needs and development goals; a focus on the safety of people and environment concerns were some of the criteria that was taken into account through the development process.

“Reusing and repurposing greywater promotes the conservation of water, without compromising public health and the environment. While there are additional standards which guide industries and the built environment on the installation and use of greywater, SANS 1732 was developed with the focus on allowing every household to practically adopt basic greywater management,’ says Strachan.

Before a standard is published, it undergoes a period of public scrutiny where the comments of the public are taken into consideration. The standard is available for purchase via the SABS webstore, which can be accessed via