Tucson Green Construction – Grey Water Harvesting and Recycling

Here is a sink that recycles the water when washing hands to the toilet tank to flush the toilet.

Water can be classified in three distinct categories; drinking water (white), sewage (black), and “in between” water (grey). This “in between” water is water that comes from the laundry machine, dishwasher and shower/bath drains. This water, although polluted, is not considered to be dangerous for recycling. The use of grey water in irrigation is used most commonly. Below is a list of some of the benefits of recycling grey water for irrigation:

  • Reduced impact on ground water
  • Reduced water bill
  • More lush vegetation
  • Replenished aquifer
  • Less impact on existing infrastructure (sewer/septic)

As you can see this type of recycling can directly affect the environment in a positive way. It is important to remember though; harmful cleaning chemicals should not be used if you use this type of system do to their negative effects on vegetation and wildlife. And grey water should not be used for plants intended for human consumption.

If this all sounds good to you, your next question should be, “how can I get started”? Well, to retro fit a grey water recycling system to your house you must have fixtures that are located on the perimeter of your house, such as a laundry machine on the porch or a dishwasher on an outside wall. Tapping into these drains would be easy and cost effective. The other option would be to include it on any future construction. When the idea of grey water recycling is brought up early, in the design phase, all grey water lines can be plumbed to accommodate a recycling program. This simple low cost design modification can end up saving you money and protecting the environment.

Let Hayes Construction, Inc. know if you would like to incorporate a grey water recycling system into your new home or addition.

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