A Typical Household Consumes The Following
- A bathtub holds: 36 gallons
- Showers: 2-2.5 gallons per minute
- Sink faucets: 1 gallon per minute
- Dishwasher load: 20 gallons
- Clothes washer load: 25 gallons
- Toilet flush: 1.2 – 1.6 gallons
- Outdoor watering: 2 gallons per minute
Statistics provided by USGS.
During new home construction, a second series of pipes having automated electric valves are installed during the plumbing phase. These secondary pipes are “teed” into the primary municipal water feed and sewer drain. The automated valves are used to direct greywater flow from all sinks, bathtubs, showers and washing machines (clothes and dishwashers) into a main treatment center where household contaminates are removed and where the water receives disinfection of bacteria and other aquatic pathogens. After disinfection, the water is transferred into a level sensing holding tank where once a pressure loss is realized by flushing a toilet or by turning on an outside faucet, an automated pump triggers and transfers the stored water back to the consuming source.
Greywater originating from bathtubs, showers, sink faucets and washing machines is processed through a filtration system prior to its entry into a holding tank. This treated water can be recycled to replenish water consumed by toilets or used to wash cars, sidewalks, driveways and patios. It can also be used for outdoor irrigation or used as makeup water for swimming pools.
Water Conservation and Savings Utilizing Household Greywater Recycling
According to the US EPA, the average American household of four uses approximately 400 gallons of water per day. On average, approximately 70% of this water is used indoors with bathroom toilets being 27% or the largest consumer of all indoor water.
The average household also uses an additional 30% outdoors. Outside activities typically consuming more water than showers or clothes washing combined. For example, maintaining a 1,000 square foot lawn requires approximately 660 gallons several times a week.
According to these statistics, greywater recycling could save an average American household approximately 102,000 gallons or $814 in annual water expense (water rate based on the Phoenix Water District).
The American Southwest is populated by approximately 38 million people (statistics taken in 2011 and does not include Texas). Greywater recycling, if implemented 10 years ago throughout the Southwest, during new home construction, could have saved approximately 11 billion gallons or 33,670 acre feet annually.
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