Going ‘grey’ keeps lawns green, reduces water bills

By Hawaii Renovation Posted in: Green

Water conservation isn’t just for Californians and others who live in dry climates. Although the Golden State’s water woes grabbed headlines last summer, it’s not the only state potentially facing water shortages. Nor is it the only one where conservation-minded homeowners are turning to greywater recycling to reduce water bills and preserve the environment.


Greywater — also called gray water — is all the water that goes down the drain from bathroom sinks, showers, tubs and washing machines. While you wouldn’t want to drink it because it contains traces of dirt, hair and household cleaning products, greywater is safe to use for outdoor irrigation. By rerouting greywater outdoors, you can keep your lawn green and your vegetables growing without increasing your water bill.

“We’re seeing increasing demand for products that facilitate greywater recycling,” said Chris Peterson with Saniflo. The company specializes in above-floor plumbing, including greywater pumping systems and macerating toilet systems for residential and light-commercial applications.

While California’s drought conditions have been prolonged and extreme, the state is not alone in being concerned about water consumption. A 2014 study by the U.S. Government Accountability Office found 40 out of 50 state water managers expect shortages in at least part of their states within the next 10 years. States have begun taking a number of steps to improve how they manage water, the GAO said, including enacting conservation measures and creating drought preparedness plans.

Greywater recycling systems can be installed in homes under construction or existing homes undergoing renovation. In fact, according to Peterson, many Saniflo customers who add greywater systems to their homes do so as part of a kitchen or bathroom renovation.

If you’re interested in greywater recycling for your home, Peterson offers some basic information:

Although some areas may allow you to recycle water from kitchen sinks, greywater typically is considered the water that comes from showers, bathroom sinks, dishwashers and clothes washers. Water from toilets is not greywater.

Experts estimate about 40 to 50 percent of the waste water generated by the typical American home qualifies as greywater and could be recycled.

Not all greywater is the same. The water from bathtubs, showers and bathroom sinks is relatively cleaner than the water from kitchen sinks, clothes washers and dishwashers, which may contain food scraps and cleaning products. It’s important to choose a greywater filter and pump system that’s made to handle the type of greywater produced by the utility you’re connecting it to.

In addition to lowering your water and sewer bill when you install a greywater recycling system, you may be eligible for a rebate. Check with your local water utility to see if it offers a rebate in your area.

This article is courtesy of Brandpoint.