Gray Water Recycling - THOUGHTS?

6 Replies

I'm really interested in finding out how difficult it is and how expensive it is to install.  I think it could definitely work in higher dollar areas where utilities are very expensive. To my knowledge, there are no current gray water system rebates at any of the local utilities just yet.  I think investors miss out on some free money when they don't check out some of those sweet rebates for things they are already doing (windows, insulation, ceiling fans, toilets, plants, etc.).  

I bet part of the issue is it's not only a utility issue it's building code. That requires to entities or departments actually communicating. :)

It is illegal in some counties in Ca I used to be a septic and sewer service manager in Northern Ca. And after that I was a well service provider. It is fairly simply to put in a gray water system if your house is not on a slab and has a decent crawl space it can be done pretty easy.

The big issue I found when researching it is that you need to buy soaps and plant plants that are compatible with one another - this would be very difficult to enforce with tenants. The restriction that makes it more difficult to capitalize on the water savings is that you can't aerate (aka spray) the grey water. It is essentially limited to drip applications because the biological contaminates have not been removed. The water from showers, bath sinks and washing machines are useable but toilets, kitchen sinks and the dishwasher is not. To be able to use those or aerate you would essentially need to install a waste treatment plant (they do come in small sizes). At this point in many applications it is kind of like a first generation Prius - you do it because you want to make an impact or statement, not because it is cost effective.

Not really grey water but I have rain barrels installed to collect roof water runoff at a few properties. The local water department installs them for free. We use the water in the garden and the hipster tenants love them.

Originally posted by @Aaron Norris :

I'm really interested in finding out how difficult it is and how expensive it is to install.  I think it could definitely work in higher dollar areas where utilities are very expensive. To my knowledge, there are no current gray water system rebates at any of the local utilities just yet.  I think investors miss out on some free money when they don't check out some of those sweet rebates for things they are already doing (windows, insulation, ceiling fans, toilets, plants, etc.).  

I bet part of the issue is it's not only a utility issue it's building code. That requires to entities or departments actually communicating. :)

 I had some friends let me push paperwork because of my accreditation wi energy upgrade CA and he got 5k for it then gave the 1500 plus a few ice cold beer to me, pretty nice payday for a 6 hour job. Not connected to grey water, sorry.

I would prefer this only if there will be couple of thousand in government rebates, but knowing the government, they want to conserve and stretch the budget as far as it goes to impact max number of constituents. You'll have a pretty nice lawn though, which is a great sell point for high end houses.

Grey Water Action is a good resource for grey water information and rainwater harvesting. It is getting more and more accepted to have these types of systems.