Greywater Recycling and Its Effect on Water Bills
If you’re like most people, you’re probably pretty tired of exorbitant water bills. California consumes more water than any other state in America, and it’s estimated that the average Californian uses approximately 131 gallons of water each and every day.
Have you ever stopped to consider just how much of the water that gets sent down the drain into your local sewage system is mostly clean? In fact, a large proportion of the water we consume every day is clean enough to be reclaimed and used for certain purposes that don’t require potable water.
How You Can Reuse Greywater in Your Home
Water that has been used in showers, sinks, bathtubs and washing machines; and not in the toilet, is considered greywater. Although it looks dirty and can contain dirt, soap, grease and other contaminants, it can be safely used for things such as irrigation and flushing toilets.
Until recently, plumbing codes regarded all wastewater to be sewage. However, with the rise of environmental concerns about the scarcity of our drinking water, a shift has occurred that allows for the recycling of greywater in some states, including California.
How Does a Greywater System Work?
Greywater systems collect used water from sinks, showers, and bathtubs, and store it for irrigation use or to supply toilets. Separate plumbing is required for the collection of this water and to feed toilet tanks.
The holding tanks of a greywater system are similar to those of a typical septic system. The wastewater is held, allowing solids to rise to the surface or sink to the bottom and be filtered. Surplus greywater that has not been used within a certain amount of time is automatically eliminated through local sewage lines.
The use of greywater for irrigation or toilets is perfect safe as long as certain precautionary measures are followed. Since greywater has been used, it has a higher probability of containing bacteria. It is therefore advisable to avoid prolonged contact with it.
For irrigation purposes, greywater should be used with subsurface infiltration systems to feed lawns, ornamental vegetation, and fruit trees. Using greywater in vegetable gardens is not advised, as it should not come into contact with the edible portion of the plant.
After you have installed a greywater recycling system, you should switch to environmentally friendly soaps and detergents. Harsh chemicals, like chlorine bleach, boron and salts commonly found in regular products can damage soil and plant life if they make their way into your greywater.
Some homeowners have seen a 20 to 30% reduction in their water consumption after having a greywater system to their home.
If you’d like to find out more about this and other water conservation ideas, you can talk to the knowledgeable professionals at Fix It Fast Plumbing & Rooter by dialing 888-465-7012.