Grey water recycling need not be difficult nor complicated, as the article below points out. Greywater reuse combined with rainwater tanks can substantially reduce household and business water bills.
You may have heard that “greywater systems,” which reuse water from sinks, showers, laundry, and other non-toilet drains, can help you reduce water use. It can also save money on water and sewer charges, improve landscape and garden irrigation, or prolong the life of your septic tank.
But knowing where to start isn’t easy. Here’s our guide to “going grey” no matter what your budget.
Even without modifying your plumbing, you can recycle grey water at home today if you’re willing to put a little elbow grease into it. Collect shower or bathtub water in a bucket. Dump the bucket into toilet bowls to flush the contents or use it to water the yard. Don’t let collected grey water sit for too long: Within 24 hours, bacteria and other pathogens can multiply, turning safe grey water into hazardous (and stinky) “blackwater.”
For a little extra cash, you can also buy “toilet top sinks” that pull water for flushing through a tank-top sink first. Wash your hands and the grey water gets used to refill the toilet tank immediately. Available systems install without tools or plumbing know-how.
If you’ve got a yard that needs watering, consider diverting water from your washing machine to the lawn. Because laundry pipes are typically visible on the home and placed on an exterior wall, they’re easy targets for a DIY project. Other home drains — a tub or shower with an accessible drainpipe and sink drains, e.g. — may be possible candidates as well.
Why waste potable water on poo? That’s the scatalogical logic behind a bathroom greywater system, but the idea comes with a hefty price tag. DIY versions of the sink-to-toilet system are available, but for the most sanitary, out-of-the box solution, you’ll want to choose commercial systems such as those from Brac Systems or Sloan. For smaller applications, Christian Kienapfel, an architect with Paravant Architektur, recommends Sloan’s “micro” greywater system, the AQUS, in this Q&A. “This is an easy retrofit application for existing homes,” he writes.
According to the EPA, household bathrooms account for more than 50% of indoor water use, so grey water systems that can cut that in half can have a major impact on overall household water use.
Source: Green Home Guide (By Celeste LeCompte)
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