Increasingly Perth home owners are turning to recycling their household waste water with water recycling almost doubling from 2002 to 2008. Perth’s drying climate and the resulting summer water restrictions have resulted in significant increases in water prices, with further increases forecast.
Many Perth home owners are finding it difficult to sustain their gardens during our hot and dry summers and are concerned that further tightening of restrictions may be a possibility, as was the case in recent years in NSW, Queensland and Victoria, where a total ban on sprinkler use was put in place. Other home owners want to reduce their impact on the environment and help conserve this scarce resource. In Perth, many home owners have resorted to installing a bore to provide additional water from Perth’s aquifers, however bore users are only entitled to one additional day of watering per week and there are already concerns about the demands being placed on aquifer reserves. Another downside to using bore water is that the mineral content causes staining on walls and paved areas.
Recycling your household water helps increase drinking water stocks by substituting its use with recycled water for the garden and reduces contamination of our struggling river systems and ocean. It also reduces the pressure on freshwater resources such as groundwater and rivers.
Different Options For Recycling Your Household Water
Below is a description of some of the main methods used to recycle household water and the pros and cons of each.
Rain Water Recycling
Rain water recycling, often referred to as Storm Water, and involves installing a rain water tank to catch rain water. Those who want to recycle rain water will need to invest in rain water tanks. The number, size and type of tanks purchased will naturally depend on how much space one has and how much rain water a person intends to use. For properties with limited space rain water tanks can be installed below ground. It is recommended that the rain water system incorporates a control panel that will automatically switch back to main water, in the event that the tank is empty or during a power failure.
This type of recycling is different from other forms of water recycling, as rain water does not need to be filtered before it is reused. Additionally, rain water can be stored for an indefinite period of time. It can even be used as drinking water although it is recommended that the water be boiled or purified in some other way, before consumption. On the other hand, if you are concerned about the chemicals and/or pollutants that may be found in rain water you may want to invest in one of the many rain water treatment systems on the market. Such systems will get rid of any impurities found in rain water, ensuring that it is suitable for all types of use.
Recycling of rain water is one of the most cost effective water recycling options and gives the most flexibility with what it can be used for and requires the least amount of maintenance of all the recycling option. Depending upon the desired size and intended applications, a typical system will cost approximately $4000 – $7000, including installation. Storing water in tanks provides a back up system if mains supply is disrupted due to burst water mains or a natural or man-made disaster.
For further information about rain water systems, including different options visit rain water recycling systems.
Grey Water Recycling Systems
Grey water is water that has been used once but does not contain harmful chemicals, such as water from the hand basin, shower, bath, spa bath, washing machine, laundry tub, kitchen sink and dishwasher. Grey Water systems allow for the treatment of this water to make it suitable and safe for certain types of reuse. Predominantly recycled grey water (often referred to a Class A recycled water) is used to reticulate the garden while use inside the home is generally restricted to the toilet and laundry. Australian guidelines for grey water use suggest that garden reticulation, should only be via drip or subsurface emitters and not for vegetable crops.
A grey water system, for recycling water from a single fixture, such as the laundry will cost approximately $2500, including installation and would provide approximately 250 liters of recycled water for the average Perth household. A full house system, which would include bathrooms and laundry, would cost approximately $6500 installed and would recycle approximately 700 liters for an average household.
In addition to the cost of purchasing and having a registered plumber install your grey water system, the systems require some ongoing maintenance. You will need to clean the systems filter every one to two weeks and like any water system in your home, they will require the occasional maintenance work from a plumber. You will also need to consider what types of personal care products your family will use, with biodegradable products resulting in less harmful contaminants being poured into your garden. With or without grey water recycling the use of biodegradable products is recommended due to their reduced pollution of our water systems and environment.
Many Perth owners are increasingly installing grey water systems as a means to meet the watering needs of their gardens and to insure against a lack of future water availability.
For further information about grey water recycling systems, Aquarius provide a range of high quality, reliable water treatment systems.
Recycling Household Effluent (Sewerage)
Recycling household sewerage output, often referred to as black water, for reuse is much more costly and is usually only considered if there is no available sewerage network or the installation of a septic tank is not possible as can be the case in water catchment and environmentally sensitive areas or due to some local shire requirements.
The cost of black water recycling systems are typically 2-3 times that of grey water systems and require more maintenance and closer monitoring to ensure acceptable water quality is maintained. Water output from these systems is usually only suitable for reuse in the garden. Black water recycling systems typically cost $12,000 to $15,000, installed.
For further information about black water recycling systems, Aquarius provide a range of high quality, reliable water treatment systems.
Rain Water, Grey Water and Black Water are the three main types of household water recycling that occur today. If you are considering water recycling for your home there are a number of factors to consider, including;
- What do you want to use the recycled water for (garden, drinking , household use etc). And what sort of volumes of water will you need for these applications?
- Why do you want to recycle your household water? Is it to enable adequate water for your garden during summer restrictions or are you concerned about future water availability? Do you want to reduce your impact on our fragile water systems and environment? Are you wanting to reduce your water bill?
- The cost of any equipment including installation and how much can be offset by savings in your water bill.
- Your attitude towards ongoing DIY maintenance requirements.
- Are there any regulations that dictate what type of recycling is permissible in your area?
Mudge Plumbing and Gas will be able to help you answer these questions and weigh up the different options available to you. They can supply and install state of the art rain water and waste water management systems and are approved by the Department of Health to install and service the full Aquarius range of both commercial and household waste water management systems. If you would like a free quote and advice for any of these options please call Paul on 0417 173 456.