|Each year at Burning Man I am amazed to see folks dumping graywater on the playa. These are the same folks who would otherwise be picking up moop and caring for the playa, but the message about graywater has been missed.
First, it is illegal to dump graywater on the playa. The BLM Rangers can give you a ticket for doing it. It is environmentally harmful to dump graywater on the playa -- the contaminants in it are transferred to the playa and remain there for a long time.
Graywater contains soap, makeup, hair, deoderant -- anything and everything that has been on your body. Toothpaste is considered graywater too. So is the water you use to clean your dishes. Graywater contains solids that won't quickly biodegrade. They will remain in the playa for years.
Most people aren't aware how important it is to collect their graywater and take it away from burning man. People try to use evaporation pools, but these have many, many downsides (see my evaporation pool rant).
In reality, it isn't that hard to collect one's graywater, and doing so helps keep the playa healthy and ready for our yearly use. You could invent your own shower, or you could build a Nosefish shower. This is a simple shower that protects the playa. It takes less than a day to make, and costs less than $100. It is easy to transport and is reusable each year you go to Burning Man.