Greywater Recycling Systems

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Many people are looking at new ways and technologies to help them save water and money.  In this post we will, cover the topic of grey water and how these systems can accomplish both water and money savings.

Greywater is gently used water from your bathroom sinks, showers, tubs, and washing machines. It is not water that has come into contact with feces, either from the toilet or from washing diapers.

Greywater may contain traces of dirt, food, grease, hair, and certain household cleaning products. While greywater may look “dirty,” it is a safe and even beneficial source of irrigation water in a yard. Keep in mind that if greywater is released into rivers, lakes, or estuaries, its nutrients become pollutants, but to plants, they are valuable fertilizer. Aside from the obvious benefits of saving water (and money on your water bill), reusing your greywater keeps it out of the sewer or septic system, thereby reducing the chance that it will pollute local water bodies. Reusing greywater for irrigation reconnects urban residents and our backyard gardens to the natural water cycle.

The easiest way to use greywater is to pipe it directly outside and use it to water ornamental plants or fruit trees. Greywater can also be used to irrigate vegetable plants as long as it doesn’t touch edible parts of the plants.

Here is the basics of a grey water recycling system and how it works:

The system uses water from showers, sinks, washing machines and dishwashers that is relatively clean, containing very few pathogens. This water, unlike black water, which comes from toilets, requires very little treatment before it can be reused for non-drinking purposes, such as for toilet flushing and lawn watering with sprinkler systems.

The cost of installing a greywater system into a new home ranges from $500 to $2,500. Continuous technological advancements will allow this system to be integrated into more homes.

Another eco-friendly product that continues to gain popularity in the plumbing category is the tankless water heater. A storage water heater is an insulated tank holding 20 to 80 gallons of water. Tankless water heaters provide constant hot water and energy savings. A 2008 Consumer Reports’ article found that tankless water heaters use about 22 percent less energy than their storage-type counterparts.

Despite the benefits in water savings, tankless units tend to be more expensive than storage units so consumers should be able to understand the positive and negative aspects of these products.

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