A new pilot program in Denver’s Central Park neighborhood is testing whether or not residential greywater recycling can become the solution to Colorado’s growing water scarcity issues.
Colorado’s water problem
Colorado, like many parts of the world, is experiencing a water problem. The increasing population (and increased demand on the water supply), combined with ongoing droughts, has led to an inevitable water supply issue.
To combat this issue, Colorado has focused on educating and encouraging water consumers to reduce their overall water use. But low-flow showerheads and high-efficiency washing machines are only able to help up to a certain point. This has led Denver to try out a new residential greywater recycling program as a potential way to save more water.
Residential water recycling
The water recycling system, called Greyter Home, is currently being tested in 40 homes in the Central Park neighborhood of Denver. The system takes used water from the shower and bathtub, cleans it with high-tech filtration methods, then uses that clean, odor-free water to flush toilets.
According to John Bell, vice president of business development for Greyter Water Systems, the amount of water collected from two showers is enough to flush the toilet throughout the day for a family of four. On average, the Greyter Home system saves up to 25 percent of a home’s water usage. This can add up to a yearly savings of about 9,000 gallons of water for a family of four.
Central Park’s pilot program
Central Park’s water recycling pilot program is a partnership between Denver Water, Lennar Homes (a residential builder), the Colorado Water Conservation Board, Greyter Water Systems, and Uponor (the creator and installer of the Phyn leak-detection device).
Each home’s system is about the size of a stacked washer and dryer, and costs about $5,000 plus installation. Greyter Water Systems is currently focusing its efforts on new home builds, especially in areas where there are financial incentives to reduce residential water use.
Issues with residential greywater recycling systems
While the Greyter Home system is able to create massive water savings, it can also be difficult to get it installed in certain areas. For example, Colorado has an ordinance (Regulation 86) that governs the use of greywater. Each county has to adopt it, and only four areas in the state (including Denver) have currently approved it.
Homes that are already built are also tougher to retrofit for a Greyter Home system. That’s why Greyter Water Systems is mainly working with new builds. Once pilots like Denver’s are over, and cities see the overwhelming water savings residential water recycling systems bring, there may be more of a push for the implementation of greywater recycling.
In water-scarce places like Colorado, Arizona, and California, the sooner residential greywater recycling systems are approved and implemented, the better.
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Founded in 2010, Darien, Illinois-based Aqua Bio Technologies is a leading provider of innovative biologic restoration, water reclaim, rain harvest, odor control and reverse osmosis (RO) systems. None of its solutions use ozone, UV, or chemicals of any kind to control odor – only nature. As the manufacturer of the first vehicle wash industry closed-loop water treatment system, the company is able to deliver a substantial savings in time and money to its customers with dramatic reductions is water and sewer costs.
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