Monday, October 01, 2012

Making Greywater Pay !

My apartment didn't really seem expensive.  (I live in Sunset Park.  Rents are quite a bit more reasonable than Park Slope).  Utilities didn't amount to all that much.  BUT, after realizing that I wasn't using water then RE-using water, I decided to catch most of the greywater I make and see what happened.  The results have been astonishing.  And pretty darned easy!  And I've saved money and I've saved fresh water.

What is greywater?  All the water which I use then let go down the drain.  That's greywater.   I suppose it's called grey because it's not drinkable after using it - so it's not necessarily clear.  That is, dishwater, for one.  That's a big one.  Then there's the water I can catch easily when I'm washing my hands, taking a shower, etc.  That's the idea.

Here are the kitchen/bathroom buckets ready to be filled from the standard dishpan in the kitchen sink.  And in the bathroom, the full bucket is ready for use instead of flushing the toilet with fresh water...what's needed for a good flush is simply poured from the bucket into the toilet bowl.  In the bathroom sink I use some containers for pouring water instead of running it (because some always seems to go down the drain when I just run water), and another tupperware container in the sink to catch greywater that would be normally lost down the drain.  All goes into the big buckets.

The astonishing result is over a 6 month period I have saved over 1200 gallons of fresh water from being used, with that translating into savings in my pocketbook !

Why do I care about doing this?  Since most of the world's population doesn't have fresh, clean drinking water, I have the opportunity to save my share of this precious natural resource so I can actively start to change this imbalance.  I save money and I'm trying to be thoughtful about the use of what the earth provides us with so generously.  I'm pretty sure that water isn't something which we will always be able to count on having, especially in the abundance we seem to have now.  I want to add to the solution right now.

I'm not the only person doing this.  Europe is way ahead of our country.  By law many European cities mandate that greywater systems be built right into new construction.  They are making efforts to rebuild with greywater systems added.  But you and I can be on the cutting edge of change in our country. 

If I can do this, trust me, anybody can!

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