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In our area, water conservation is a very important concern and more and more clients want to incorporate grey water recycling into the designs of their homes. Do you have any suggestions?
Grey water recycling is an excellent way to reduce water usage because it offers a means to use some water - specifically, grey water - more than once. In addition, some grey water reclamation systems redirect grey water into the soil where it is naturally filtered - safely reintroducing into the environment without adding strain to a community's storm drain or waste water systems.
Grey water recycling is an accepted practice in Australia and many parts of Europe, and is gaining popularity in North America because it helps:
Grey water is simply waste water from activities like bathing, washing dishes, and laundry. It gets is name from its cloudy appearance, which is the result of detergents and food waste, and is generally recognized to make up at least 50% of a typical home's waste water.
There are a number of different ways that grey water can be reused:
When incorporating a grey water reclamation system into a building plan, it is essential that you make sure it is allowable under the local building codes. Currently, regulations vary considerably by locale: many jurisdictions do not allow grey water reuse, do not have clear regulations, or are considering changes to better address local water supply concerns.
Once you have determined what local regulations allow, consider the building site. Grey water irrigation systems operate best on sloping terrain that does not contain a lot of clay. On flat sites with poor drainage, consider landscaping features such as tiered planters or planting walls.
When designing a system for a particular project, it's also important to consider the needs and lifestyle of the homeowner. In fact, www.letsgogreen.com notes that grey water systems should always be user-specific. For example:
Chief Architect's CAD Tools allow you to produce detail drawings and diagrams of plumbing runs for grey water systems, just as they can for other plumbing and mechanical systems. You can create custom line styles for grey water lines, place your grey water lines on custom layers, as well as create details of components such as settling tanks and overflow handling and save these details in the library for future use. Please refer to the Related Articles section at the bottom of this article for details.
Grey water reclamation is often associated with arid regions where water conservation is a top priority, but it also an ecologically beneficial practice in areas that don't have a limited water supply. Because grey water contains food particles and chemicals like nitrogen that are used as fertilizer by plants, it can cause serious environmental damage when it is released into waterways - as often happens during periods of heavy rain in many urban areas. Used as a controlled source of irrigation for landscaping, though, it can safely fertilize ornamental plants, shrubs, and trees. Specially selected plants can even break down some of the more toxic compounds present in some household detergents.