The average person in the US uses about 40 gallons of water each day to bathe, wash dishes, and clean clothes.
Unfortunately, almost all of that water goes straight down the drain.
That’s why some multi-family builders are taking water conservation a step further than low-flow faucets and shower heads by installing water reclamation systems, like the Greywater system.
Greywater is gently used water from bathroom sinks, showers, tubs, and washing machines.
This water may contain traces of dirt, food, grease, hair, and certain household cleaning products — so, while greywater may look “dirty,” it’s a safe and a beneficial source of irrigation water.
If greywater is released into rivers and lakes, its nutrients become pollutants — but to plants, they are valuable fertilizer, so long as homeowners use “plant friendly” products (products without salts, boron, or chlorine bleach.)
If you’re interested in utilizing a greywater system, here are some helpful tips to get you started:
Washing machines are typically the easiest source of greywater to reuse, as the water can be easily diverted without cutting into the existing plumbing.
Don’t store greywater for more than 24 hours. Storing greywater causes the nutrients to break down, which can create bad odors.
You should also minimize contact with greywater. Infiltrate greywater into the ground, and don’t allow it to pool up or run off. Knowing how well water drains into your soil will help with proper design.
Keep your system as simple as possible by avoiding pumps and filters that require serious upkeep, and install a 3-way valve for easy switching between the greywater system and the sewer/septic.
And, for the health of your plants, try to best match the amount of greywater your plants will receive with their individual irrigation needs.
Interested in WaterSense Certified faucets for your next eco-friendly project? Check out the Motegi Single Handle Lavatory Faucet, featured in Hanover Builders’ net-zero, multi-family residential building in Downtown Los Angeles!