Grey Water filtration system

Recycle Greywater and Save the Planet

In America, water is taken for granted. Many first world countries have been spoiled with their freshwater usage. Freshwater is not an abundant resource on earth, but is actually rather limited. While most of the Earth’s surface is covered with oceans, only about 2.5 percent of the water is freshwater. Furthermore, almost two thirds of the existing freshwater is frozen. With the continuous growth of the world’s population and dwindling source of available freshwater, it has been predicted that there will be a day in which the population number vastly outnumbers accessible freshwater which is necessary for survival. There are situations that people use fresh water where freshwater is not needed. For instance, it is not necessary to fill toilet bowls with precious freshwater. By normalizing the use of recycled water instead of freshwater in some aspects of our daily lives, millions of gallons could be saved.

The freshwater crisis was originally brought up to the table by National Geographic. Data shows that “By 2025, an estimated 1.8 billion people will live in areas plagued by water scarcity, with two-thirds of the world's population living in water-stressed regions as a result of use, growth, and climate change” (Freshwater Crisis, National Geographic). There is not a lot of time left for the current generation to change the way that the future is headed toward. An example of the world’s lack of water is California’s drought which began in 2012. Ever since there has been a lack of water, there has been a stronger push towards water conservations which has helped California get out of the severe drought. Of course, there is still more that could be done to save water.

By definition, greywater is relatively clean wastewater from showers, sinks, and washing machines. In addition, rainwater is also considered to be a form of greywater and can be filtered and utilized alongside collected wastewater from household appliances. After collection and minimal, yet sufficient, chemical treatment of the wastewater, the greywater will be transported through a series of underground pipes and redirected back into the household. Separate from the freshwater system, greywater is clean and safe enough to replace the unnecessary freshwater previously used to fill toilets and water plants.

By using greywater, people can make their own contribution to solve this global crisis. If each house began using greywater in facilities like toilet bowls and water hoses could solve this problem. In addition to that, one flush of a toilet uses about 1.6 gallons of fresh water. In an average house with two toilets that are typically flushed five times a day, a total of 5,840 gallons of fresh water are wasted. By using fresh water in toilets all over america, millions of clean drinking water is wasted. Greywater can also be used for irrigation in replacement of fresh water. On average, 330 gallons of fresh water are used by American households each time they water their lawn. Per household, a range of 30 to 70 percent of the monthly water bill is wasted on outdoor irrigation. However, these number can fluctuate depending on the climate of their location. For instance, in arid areas such as the Southwest, people who want green grass have to water more frequently since there is not sufficient rainfall. During summertime, the temperature gets hot, so evaporation happens quickly which leads to more fresh water use. In general, excess use of fresh water for irrigation puts an additional burden on America’s already strained water supply. By using a greywater filtration systems all over america, as much as 40,000 gallons of fresh water could be saved.

Before the actual distribution and use of greywater, it needs to be collected and stored. The sources of collection would be from storm drains, buckets, showers, bathroom sinks, and washing machines. The greywater from these sources would be led to a filtration system through piping. In this filtration system, greywater would pass through multiple grid sheets and sponge sheets. Customers would have to replace these sheets periodically to prevent clogging through access points in the ground throughout the pipe. The greywater would then head into two basins. The chemical filtration or disinfection begins in the first basin. In here chloramine would be added to the basin and kill any parasites, bacteria, and viruses. This helps keep the water clean for reuse in the toilet and in irrigation systems. Compared to chloramine, chlorine would not be healthy for plants. So as long as the plants are not aquatic, chloramine would be an adequate replacement. The chloramine is a combination of ammonia and chlorine and unlike chlorine, it dissipates quickly when exposed to air. Then after 12 hours, the grey water is flushed into either the sewer or the second basin with the use of a monitor between basins. The monitor would check if the water is clean enough for reuse. The second tank would be used for the output into the irrigation system and the toilet. But after 12 hours in this tank, the greywater would have to be flushed into the sewage system. These functions occur every 12 hours so this insures that there will always be “clean” grey water for the plants and the toilets. And the reason for this entire system in these two basins is to make sure that bacteria, viruses, and parasites do not multiply and completely infect the grey water supply.

Unfortunately, there will be a steep cost to install this filtration system, but like solar panels, money will be saved in the long run. In an average household, using average toilets, between 6,388 and 12,775 gallons are used per year for just flushing toilets. With the addition of an irrigation system, water bills can add up to be about 60 to 200 dollars per month for an average family. With the use of a greywater filtration system water bills will be decreased drastically and as a result save money.

It is evident that the water crisis is leading the global population toward a problematic future. With the ratio of people to available freshwater steadily increasing, it is essential to take action and save every drop of freshwater possible. Taking shorter showers and being conscious of one’s water use is a excellent start to solving the freshwater crisis but, on a grander scale, one can begin to notice a significantly larger drop in freshwater use by installing a greywater recycle system. Using treated greywater in place of freshwater in certain scenarios can help alleviate the worldwide strain and remove the pressure from the current serious freshwater crisis faced today.

Works Cited

"Drinking Water." Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 20 Jan. 2015. Web. 13 July 2017.

"Greywater Systems." Water Wise Group. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 July 2017.

"Potassium Alum." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 08 July 2017. Web. 14 July 2017.

Safe Use of Household Greywater. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 July 2017.

Society, National Geographic. "Freshwater Crisis." Clean Water Crisis, Water Crisis Facts, Water Crisis Resources - National Geographic. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 July 2017.

"Toilet." Conserve H2O. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 July 2017.

"Water: A Limited Resource?" Earthwatch FreshWater Watch. N.p., 13 May 2015. Web. 14 July 2017.

"25 Facts You Should Know About the Global Water Crisis." The Seametrics Blog RSS. Seametrics Blog, 15 Sept. 2014. Web. 14 July 2017.


I will get the link to the prezi and then put it on... the person who has the prezi is curently on a flight to china

Sketch Up

still waiting on these too...

Published on February 25th, 2018

Last updated on April 28th, 2020