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How To Recycle Water and Save Money in the Home

By Karin Mangan
How To Recycle Water and Save Money in the Home

Recycling water is a great way to save on utility bills and do your bit for the environment by reducing energy use and cutting back on the amount of chemical treatment required. Some water recycling methods are simple and require little in the way of re-plumbing. More ambitious water recycling schemes can involve re-plumbing your home, but can lead to more significant long-term savings.

Simple Water Recycling Ideas

  • Use buckets and basins in your sinks and shower tray to collect water from washing dishes, washing your hands, or running the water until it warms up. Pour the water down the toilet to save a flush or water your plants. Be careful about using water that has been used to wash very greasy dishes because the grease can build up in your toilet drain. You should also avoid using water that is heavily contaminated with detergents or bleach to water plants, especially those that are edible.
  • Collect rainwater. You can get specially-made containers with taps attached to collect water from the gutters on your home. Rainwater is excellent for watering plants and you can also use it for other outdoor tasks such as cleaning your footpath or your car.

More Complex Water Recycling Systems

  • You can install a "greywater" plumbing system that recycles shower or bath water so you can use it to flush the toilet. These systems are more expensive but also more convenient than simply using a bucket, and can reduce household water usage by about 30 percent; that's how much household water is typically used for toilet flushing.
  • You can have a water tank installed in your garden or attic that collects rainwater from the gutters on your house. The water is then treated and delivered back to the house to be used for flushing toilets and washing clothes.
  • You can install air-conditioners, refrigerators, and ice-makers that are cooled using recycled water.

Contact your state water resources department to find out more about water recycling options and laws and regulations related to water recycling in your area.

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