Saving Water – Using Gray Water for Landscaping?

June 8, 2008 at 9:47 pm 2 comments

We have talked about how your building can use less water, but those options are pretty mainstream. For those of you who are really adventurous another option is to recycle or reuse the gray water generated by the building.

First a little refresher on what we mean by gray water. There are two types of waste water usually generated by a building, be it residential, commercial or industrial, black water and gray water. Gray water is basically wash water or all the waste water except that generated by the use of toilets or garbage disposal equipment. Gray water is generally about 50-60% of the daily waste water generated by an average residence.

Most gray water recycling is aimed at the residential market and at city wide operations such as park land. I know that the seeming majority of parks in my home city of Long Beach California are watered by recycled waste water (gray water). Here is a great site that explains and provides assistance for residential systems and covers the general topic pretty well: http://www.oasisdesign.net/greywater/index.htm

On a commercial site it is always best to check with your local jurisdiction to understand what code issues need to be addressed for this type of installation. BuildingGreen.com has quite a good selection of case studies and even the LEED advantages spelled out for this type of system.

BuildingGreen.com: http://www.buildinggreen.com/menus/entries.cfm?HeadingID=100

Also here is a link to a manufacturer, BRAC Systems which from the web page appears to have worldwide availability: http://www.bracsystemsbc.com/news.html

I know that I have barely scratched the surface on implementing a system like this and I wish those of you inclined to try the best of luck! Saving water is becoming more important everyday and saving the potable water for us to drink seems like an idea whose time has come.

As always I thank you for your time and interest. Please take the time to Digg, or add to the other social network of your choice to help me spread the word about these issues. Please forward any questions or suggestions to: askthefm@gmail.com

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Entry filed under: Planning, Recycling, Technology. Tags: , , , .

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