We are all familiar with the push toward recycling and conservation efforts in the business community—for example, it's not unusual to hear of a company "going green." But given the fact that usable water is becoming scarcer every year, it's important to consider what you can do in your own home to help conserve this precious resource.
One way that homeowners can help the ecosystem through water conservation is to install greywater systems, which take water that's been used and replace tap water for non-potable needs like toilet flushing, irrigation, clothes washing, etc. Nearly two-thirds of indoor water can potentially be reused as greywater, which means installing a greywater system in your home could result in lots of gallons saved.
In addition to lowering the need for potable water by 16-40% depending on your household, residential greywater systems hold the following three benefits:
Greywater systems lower the need for costly wastewater treatment. Such treatment takes energy and uses chemicals, but recycling waste and greywater requires less energy than salt water does using desalination systems. The lower cost is a benefit to your entire community.
Greywater systems reduce the amount of sewage and septic wastewater. When you lower the load on your septic system in such a way, the system stays nicer and can be kept in service for many additional years.
Greywater systems have the potential to lower your water bill every month. Because they reuse the same water more than one time, your monthly utility bill will be lower. For example, if you use 40 gallons of water to shower and then 40 gallons to flush the toilet, you're only paying for 40 gallons total, since non-potable water can be used to flush the toilet.
Other water conservation tips include installing low-flow toilets, faucets, and showerheads in your bathrooms; checking for and repairing leaks regularly; always running a full load in your dishwasher; and purchasing WaterSense-labeled products.