For every day that we use water at home, gallons and gallons of it go down the drain and we think no more of it. But with the current plight of our world’s clean water reserves, we simply cannot afford to keep using water like it will never run out. What can a regular homeowner do to help make the situation a little better? Apart from being mindful about clean water consumption, one should also consider gray water collection which can be used for other non-ingestible water-related tasks around the house.
If you aren't familiar, gray water is wastewater that is free from serious contaminants--its usual sources include the water used for laundry, water that drains out from the sink and collected in rain gutters, and the shower. Gray water from these sources are diverted from the general sewer line and reused. If around 1/3 of your water-related tasks can be completed using gray water, the water infrastructure will be better off as a whole, and you will be saving money in the process. The equipment would pay for itself very quickly, in fact.
Examples of how people are already using gray water include:
Manual flushing of toilets. Instead of pressing the lever and using clean water to flush out toilet waste, have a bucket of gray water next to the toilet for this very purpose.
Watering landscaping. Believe it or not, your flowerbed is perfectly able to filter out the very mild chemicals that come with gray water – so it is perfectly fine to use them for your thrice-weekly gardening to keep your greenery looking live and lovely.
There are many more ways that regular households can incorporate the use of gray water in their daily living. This is especially true for homes that choose to invest in more sophisticated gray water collection systems that give them a generous supply of gray water to be reused in and around the home.
It may seem like a very simple thing, but think about it: we constantly flush toilets and regularly water our lawns, and if we can replace the clean water used for these tasks with gray water, we are actually creating remarkable and sustainable change in the way we consume a very important resource!