Greywater Best Practices

Greywater is a great way to recycle mildly-contaminated water for general household use. It reduces the load on the local water supply and treatment centers and also conserves water. However, there are some points that every gray water user must know to get the most out of it, as mentioned below:

  1. Water contaminated with fecal matter must not be reused. That’s strictly for the sewers.
  2. Water from sinks is often thought to be safe for greywater use. However if you are rinsing dirty diapers in the sink, this obviously does not hold true anymore. Be mindful of what you do at the sink.
  3. If the grey water is to be used for irrigation purposes, make sure that its source is free from toxic chemicals. Common toxic household products include bleach, rat poison and so on.
  4. Do not use greywater to irrigate crops that produce edibles.
  5. It is generally best to not store grey water in any open containers as the present in it can spread.
  6. Keep your kids and pets away from gray water.

How GreyWater Recycling Helps the Water Supply System

GrayWater is waste water that is usually generated from household sinks and laundry. When directly recycled with the help of an on-site grey water recycling system, it can greatly help the environment and the general water infrastructure.

The first use of greywater comes in the form of household use. With the exception of kitchen sinks, it can be used for the purposes of flushing and washing cars and other household chores that involve water. This greatly reduces the need for water that comes from the city water supply, thereby reducing load on it. Because the greywater is being recycled at home rather than the local water treatment plant, it greatly reduces the burden on the treatment plant. What that means is that the plant has less water to purify and therefore will handle the water it has to treat more efficiently and effectively. That indirectly means that the local water treatment plant will supply cleaner water to homes, which will benefit those with gray water recycling systems as well.

All About GrayWater

Water is a commodity that most of us take for granted. What’s troubling though is that the consumption of water is much more than its rate of renewal. Using water carefully is a part of the solution to this problem. But what about partially-waste water, like water from sinks, laundry and general sewerage that does not contain fecal matter? This water cannot be filtered to be drinkable again, but it can be reused for a lot of other important purposes. This kind of water is called graywater.

Graywater usually goes to water-treatment plants where it is treated to be used again in sinks and laundry systems. What’s even better is that it can also be used for irrigation purposes. Graywater usually contains fewer levels of pathogens than home sewage from toilets, and thus is easier to treat. In fact, home owners can setup their own graywater treatment systems so that the burden on urban water systems can be lessened. The applications for this ‘recycled’ greywater are numerous, the most obvious ones being for flushing toilets and general irrigation.

There’s one catch to treating graywater at your own place – it has to be used within a short span of time or else it quickly putrefy due to its recycled nature. It is never advised to use this treated graywater for drinking purposes. If you intend to use the recycled graywater for irrigation purposes, it is generally advisable that the graywater should not be very chemical-heavy. What that means is that the detergents being drained with the graywater should generally be non-toxic.

Short-term and Long-term Effects of Droughts

Droughts have visible and short term consequences; some of which are given below:

  1. Plants start dying to lack of water, which cause dryness of vegetation in the region
  2. The water bodies dry up, and there is a decline in volume of water in streams and rivers
  3. The water in reservoirs also decreases, which causes the water levels in reservoirs to drop
  4. Increase of depth to water in wells
  5. Crop growth is also decreased due to lack of irrigation
  6. Dust bowls and dust storms occur, which cause further erosion in the region

Droughts also have some drastic long-term effects:

  1. They can cause the gradual or sudden sinking of the Earth’s surface. This happens due to the movement of the Earth’s materials in the subsurface when the groundwater resources are depleted. Loss of groundwater storage can also be caused due to this. This is known as land subsidence.
  2. Seawater intrusion is another long-term consequence of droughts. This occurs when there is a reversal of natural groundwater flows to the ocean, due to which seawater enters aquifer system. Because of this, the quality of groundwater is changed and compromised.
  3. The restoration projects for rivers and wildlife can also be decreased because of droughts.
  4. Dry vegetation, dry weathers, and dry climates can cause wildfires instantly when there is a spark – either by humans or by nature.

These are some of the methods by which you can prepare your household for droughts. Another way to prepare for the drought is to have a grey water system installed. Second Generation Water Solutions are the local specialists in laundry to landscape conversions, and make the installing of grey water systems really easy. This helps in recycling and reusing the grey water.

Gray water. Your role in helping the state reach it’s goals.

With the governors April announcement on mandatory water reductions local communities are asked to reduce their individual usage between 20 and 36%.  How do you as a home owner help your community reach these goals.

Our simple recommendations.

Reduce the size of your lawn.  This is the biggest culprit in Los Angeles and Orange county toward your irrigation usage.

Install a Laundry to landscape system.  Depending on your irrigation levels you can save 15 to 40% on your water bills.  A typical washer produces enough to regularly water 7 fruit trees!

Install a branched drain (shower system).  This will double your water savings right there, and are typically an easy permit process.

Consider a rain catchment set up.  Did you know that you can capture 20,000 gallons of water a year off your roof?  This water can be stored and saved for later use.

Contact us for further details on what option (s) will work for your home.

Kim and May gray water project. Los Feliz, Los Angeles

This project was set in the beautiful, Los Feliz village area of Los Angeles.  Project challenges for this gray water installation focused around having to trench under a walk way, and to drill through delicate tile in the Laundry room.



Petry Gray water Project. El Segundo, Los Angeles

This Laundry to Landscape project took place in late April in Los Angeles.  The Petry residence called for a gray water installation to occur.  Some unique challenges on this installation was a very difficult mount for the sewer/landscape switch (we ultimately mounted in the closet as you can see from the photo’s) and a very tight crawlspace that took over 100 feet of PVC mountings to get to the outside.  Once outside we were able to take two watering zones offline and do the flower beds in the front of the house.  This home also had the added bonus of having a chicken coop in the back yard!