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Recycling Gray Water For Outdoor Use


Outdoor water use has been attributed to more than 50 percent of the overall water used within a household each year. This water is used in watering lawns, washing cars, filling swimming pools and many other activities. As most of these uses do not involve ingestion of the water being used or will involve chlorination of the water, recycling gray water for these outdoor tasks is a great way to cut down on the household’s overall water consumption. Additionally, using grey water for outdoor activities may be healthier for the environment than allowing the water to go through the sewer or into a drain field.

Recycling gray water is done by taking the leftover water that runs down the drain after washing dishes, doing laundry or taking a shower, and reusing that water for other purposes. Though there is dirt and detergent in the water, the amounts are minimal enough that it is considered very safe for reuse. Some experts even claim that grey water is more safely disposed of into the ground before being treated, than is grey water that has gone through a wastewater treatment plant, along with the black water that is flushed through the drain systems.

Those who are involved in recycling gray water often have a water recycling system installed in their homes. These systems simply take the water that runs from the drains in the home, with the exception of the toilet, and holds it in a tank for later use. Generally, these systems are connected to the toilet and to water spigots for outdoor uses. Some are attached to a very basic filtration system, which will remove any foreign objects that might enter the water. These systems can be somewhat expensive to install, but they will pay for themselves over time with the moneys that are saved by recycling gray water.

While recycling gray water is not currently a widely used concept in the United States, current environmental trends are leading many people in that direction. In other countries, such as Australia, nearly all new homes are built with these systems already in place, to aid in the country’s quest for water conservation. As more and more cities throughout the United States are encouraging their residents to become more aware of environmental issues, government agencies have begun offering incentives to homeowners who have these systems installed in their homes. Before long, it is likely that the majority of new homes across the country will have the means for recycling gray water, built right in.