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Graywater is all wastewater except toilet wastes and food wastes produced by garbage disposals. There are significant differences between greywater and toilet wastewater (called "blackwater").

According to graywater.net, graywater reuse is a part of the fundamental solution to many ecological problems and will probably remain essentially unchanged in the distant future. The benefits of graywater recycling include:

  • Lower fresh water use
  • Less strain on failing septic tank or treatment plant
  • Graywater treatment in topsoil is highly effective
  • Ability to build in areas unsuitable for conventional treatment
  • Less energy and chemical use
  • Groundwater recharge
  • Plant growth
  • Reclamation of otherwise wasted nutrients
Greywater legality is an issue for residential retrofit systems--because municipal governments that approve water systems still believe there could be contamination and disease problems with the use of graywater from showers and sinks.  However, a growing number of homeowners  bootleg graywater systems.

Graywater  is almost always a compliance and legal issue for  new construction and remodeling that requires permits.  There are a few visionary state such as Arizona or New Mexico that face severe water shortages and encourage water harvesting techniques such as graywater recovery systems.


GREYWATER

what it is . . . how to treat it . . . how to use it


Greywater.com provides a guide to commercial graywater systems.


Edited by Carolyn Allen, Managing Editor of Solutions For Green

Publication Date: 1/14/2009
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