How To Recycle Water in your Sarasota Home
Protecting yourself against potential droughts can help to increase your potential water saving is in your Sarasota home.
If you live in a state suffering from drought, you’ve probably seen your water bills increase. Here’s a water-saving strategy that you probably haven’t thought of: Take a shower. Brush your teeth. Do your laundry. It’s called greywater recycling. And it really works.
What’s greywater, anyway?
“Greywater” refers to gently used household wastewater—like the runoff from doing laundry or washing dishes. (Toilet wastewater is referred to as “blackwater”.)
In a greywater system, used water gets sent through a second set of pipes to water your outdoor plants. And since the biggest household use of water is for irrigation, this can have a large impact on your expenses. It also helps the environment!
How much you’ll spend & save
A study commissioned by the city of Santa Rosa, CA, reported that a “laundry-to-landscape” greywater system would save 15 gallons of water per person/day. Recycling greywater from bathroom sinks and showers saves an additional 25-50 gallons of water per person. It’ll also save about $400 a year on water bills.
DIY types who know their way around the plumbing aisles of Home Depot can get a greywater system going for a few hundred dollars over the course of a weekend thanks to this free guidebook created by the city of San Francisco. For those unfamiliar with plumbing, it’s best to hire a professional.
Go easy on the soaps—and yourself
Jerrard suggests that newbies start with the laundry-to-landscape system. Because the water comes straight from the washing machine, no plumbing lines have to be cut. Because of this, no permit is required in many states.
Be conscious of what’s in your greywater, though. Trees and soil can deal with most natural soap products, but cleaning products that are filled with salt and other chemicals can be a problem.
Greywater can be in a gray zone, legally
If you live in Vermont and want to help the environment, you’re out of luck. Greywater systems are legal in only 19 states, including the West Coast, Texas, and much of the Southeast.
In addition, each state has its own byzantine greywater codes, and individual municipalities may have their own restrictions.
With all the permits and paperwork involved, is it worth it? For those who have taken the plunge, the answer is yes. And the benefits of greywater recycling go beyond decreasing your water bills and helping to fight the current drought.
“It gives you more awareness of how you’re using water, gives you more control of your water, and it makes things more visible,” said Mark Vallianatos, who installed a greywater recycling system in his Los Angeles home two years ago.
You may not see that all too much in your Sarasota home, but the more you are prepared for the worst, the better off you will be.