Around the country, companies and interest groups are working tirelessly to bring us the next revolution in environmentally sound products. The next products to hit the mass market in a big way could change the way we do plumbing. That’s right, it looks like water recycling could be the next big thing and it could not only prove to be a major help to the environment, it could mean big savings for everyone interested in how it will affect their bottom line.
These water recycling systems may work differently when they reach the mainstream, but some clues can be garnered by looking at prototype projects around the country. One such project takes drained water from the shower and diverts it back to the toilet tank. Another makes use of rainwater, pushing it straight from the gutters to an irrigation system that can be used to water the lawn or the garden. These kinds of plumbing innovations are exciting to anyone who is concerned about the rate at which we are going through our natural water supplies. The projects use computer controls for the homeowner to direct and cost somewhere in the neighborhood of $2,000.
Many people are already trapping their rainwater and using it for other purposes simply by setting out rain barrels to collect the precipitation. However, while this low tech solution can help save water, it can also put you in violation of city ordinances if the barrel overflows and spills water onto the neighbor’s yard. With the new systems of rain collection, the overflow is diverted underground. These kinds of technologies could be used to cut household water usage by up to 1/3. Experts agree that most people underestimate the amount of water they use on a daily basis, particularly when it comes to flushing the toilet. Most people will say they flush the toilet around three or four times a day, when the reality is usually more like eight to ten.
Of course, home recycling isn’t the only place we’ll be seeing the new plumbing revolution. Officials in Orange County and other places around the world have put millions of dollars into plans that will allow them to turn sewage water into drinking water by running it through a purification process. While this may not sound as appetizing as it could, the purification process is complete and will return water that is very much safe to drink. With ideas such as these, the thought of water restrictions and drought may become concepts of the past.