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Author Topic: Would it be more cost-effective to used waste-water to flush the toilet?  (Read 13141 times)

paul.fr

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i guess this is the right place!

Water, all water in your home is thoroughly cleaned. From tap water to the water you flush your toilet with. would it not be more cost effective, and enviromentally friendly to use grey water for things such as flushing the toilet?
« Last Edit: 15/11/2008 10:03:35 by chris »


 

another_someone

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This has been partially discussed before (with regard to Arizona).

http://www.thenakedscientists.com/forum/index.php?topic=5514.0

The problem is that if you want to use different standards of water for different functions, you will need to implement dual infrastructure, from laying (and maintaining) two sets of water pipes in the road, two sets of pumps, two sets of water pipes in houses (and being careful not to mix them up).

Assuming you ignore leakages (at present, that is a major amount of water one has to ignore), then you might save of actual water, but the maintenance of dual networks (even once you have written off the cost of laying dual networks) would still cost substantially more than we pay at present (I don't mean only in monetary terms, but in materials, energy, and land usage).

It is a slightly different matter if one is talking about recycling water within the home (i.e. allowing wast water from sinks and baths to flow into a tank and be reused for the toilet).  This would be much cheaper (albeit, would be difficult to retrofit to old houses, and would still need space to put the tanks), but you will have to find a way of making sure that the water you are using is adequate for the purpose (i.e. does not contain excessive cooking oils, or detergent, or whatever else that might clog up the works).
 

paul.fr

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instead of having to lay extra pipes, would it work if we just partially treated the water for thr nastiest bugs. then has some sort of home filtration system?
 

Offline Andrew K Fletcher

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Greywater guy, it is a good idea to use grey water, not such a good idea to sell plans on our forum via your website though, so please refrain from posting adverts.

Build your own DIY Greywater Recycling System for $350 and save over 30% on your monthly water bill.
« Last Edit: 15/11/2008 13:38:37 by BenV »
 

Offline BenV

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Andrews post won't make much sense now, as I've deleted the spammy post and blacklisted the site.
 

Offline frethack

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My cats love toilet water...maybe I could finally get them to drink out their water bowls.
 

Offline that mad man

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People from overseas should understand that in the UK the majority of homes pay a standard charge despite the amount of water consumed. You would only save if the water is metered.
 

Offline SAVEH20

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There is a greywater recycling system, made in Denver, Colorado that  promotes the theory DO NOT FLUSH FRESH WATER.  Please visit newbielink:http://www.waterlegacy.com [nonactive] to see our residential greywater reuse system. It is a fully listed IAPMO certified self contained system, currently in operation in Colorado, California, Nebraska and New Mexico
 

Offline Don_1

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Of course, you could cut the cost by just using one of these new fangled device's

 

Offline Karsten

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I don't use water at all. I use one of "these new fangled devices" and sprinkle fresh saw dust over the freshly added contents until they are out of sight. It is called a simple composting toilet (which I built myself for US$7) and is in use in my house that is currently under major reconstruction and without plumbing . Works like a charm. No smells either according to supersensitive nose of girlfriend. However, the leftovers (albeit compostable) may be trouble for someone who does not have a garden. I see little reason to install a regular toilet at this point.
 

Offline Geezer

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Holy Crap! Is that legal where you live? Hope you're not selling the produce from your garden at the local market.
 

Offline Karsten

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Holy Crap! Is that legal where you live? Hope you're not selling the produce from your garden at the local market.

No idea if it is legal. Probably not. But the amounts are rather small and I don't sell anything. It will compost in peace for two to three years and it will be fine for my own use. Underground septic system or above ground composting - the latter works probably better since most microorganisms are in the first few inches of soil.

To know more about composting human waste check this site: http://www.humanurehandbook.com. You don't have to buy the book. It is available for free online. All 260 pages. Lots of good info for fecophiles and fecophobes.
 

Offline Don_1

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Stone the crows Karsten, I was thinking more along the lines of tipping your washing water into the new fangled device and saving it until the next time you need to flush the bog! Not filling it with unmentionable stuff for your roses!

"What a strange fragrance this rose has."
 

Offline Geezer

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Mind you, if it were to keep the blinking deer out of my garden, I'd be inclined to try it myself.
 

Offline Karsten

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Stone the crows Karsten, I was thinking more along the lines of tipping your washing water into the new fangled device and saving it until the next time you need to flush the bog! Not filling it with unmentionable stuff for your roses!

"What a strange fragrance this rose has."

Stone the crows! What does that mean? Time to learn another saying.
 

Offline Geezer

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Offline Andrew K Fletcher

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Karsten I applaud your taking the step that mankind should have trodden in a long time ago.  ::)

I remember seeing an advert for the Electrolav a heated system that rapidly composted the waste for use directly onto the garden. Looked a great system but there was the energy concern using the mains to accelerate the decomposing did not catch on.

Being on a water meter this simple common sense approach to dealing with our bodily waste would save a fair amount of money over a year.

Food for thought  ;D
 

Offline Karsten

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Karsten I applaud your taking the step that mankind should have trodden in a long time ago.  ::)

I remember seeing an advert for the Electrolav a heated system that rapidly composted the waste for use directly onto the garden. Looked a great system but there was the energy concern using the mains to accelerate the decomposing did not catch on.

Being on a water meter this simple common sense approach to dealing with our bodily waste would save a fair amount of money over a year.

Food for thought  ;D

Well, thank you. But it was not really my idea. And none of my friends want to visit me now.  :( Maybe they aren't friends after all.
 

Offline litespeed

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The major problem to be solved is to econamically accumulate enough 'Brown" waste water to flush your toilets without using fresh piped water. The economies of such an effort are entirely the economics of fresh delivered water, versus collecting Brown Water.

[Brown water is shower and kitchen sink like water. NEVER recylce Black Water, which is human waste.]  In the old days we had latrine trenches and outhouses to contain human solid and other waste. With proper geographical separation from potable water sources, this is still the most efficient disposal method.

However, I an suspicious modern environmentalists will opt to walk 200 feet in the blustering snow after dark to save the environment with outhouses.
 

Offline Karsten

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However, I an suspicious modern environmentalists will opt to walk 200 feet in the blustering snow after dark to save the environment with outhouses.

I read that "modern" outhouses can contaminate the groundwater quite a bit since there is little micro bacterial action going on in a deep hole in the ground. The stuff just seeps into the ground, and depending on the type of soil, can go deep. And it is a waste of good fertilizer. It won't do you any good 8 feet down in the ground.

Try one of those composting toilets I built. See free instructions at link above. Very simple. I did not think they would not smell at all, but they really don't (unless you are in the process of using one). I am doing major reconstruction in the house and it is rather convenient to move the toilet where ever I please. It is a humbling and grounding experience to take care of the filled bucket, but its just who we are. [:I]
 

Offline Karsten

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BTW, I am collecting kitchen sink water as well. The drains are not connected yet, so the water just runs into a bucket that I have to empty outside. This water turns DISGUSTING fast.  :P . I would not recommend storing this type of water in a tank for much time. It will also cover the inside of the tank with a nasty slime.
 

Offline litespeed

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Waste water recovery is not very usefull if it is going to be reused as water.  However, warm shower and bath water can be heat exchanged back into the system easily enough. A fail safe system is needed of course to ensure water separation.

I actually designed one for my house just for the heck of it, but never got round to construction. I doubt the amount of heat recovery achieved would be noticeable in my mild climate. But where winters are long and cold it might be a good thing.  Probably alread been done someplace....
 

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