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Gray water Return System

What is gray water ?

Any water that has been used in the home, except water from toilets, is called gray water . Dish, shower, sink, and laundry water comprise 50-80% of residential "waste" water. This may be reused for other purposes, especially landscape irrigation.

Why use gray water ?

It's a waste to irrigate with great quantities of drinking water when plants thrive on used water containing small bits of compost. Unlike a lot of ecological stopgap measures, gray water reuse is a part of the fundamental solution to many ecological problems and will probably remain essentially unchanged in the distant future. The benefits of gray water recycling include:

· Lower fresh water use

· Less strain on failing septic tank or treatment plant

· Gray water treatment in topsoil is highly effective

· Ability to build in areas unsuitable for conventional treatment

· Less energy and chemical use

· Groundwater recharge

· Plant growth

· Reclamation of otherwise wasted nutrients

 Is gray water legal?

In practice, gray water legality is virtually never an issue for residential retrofit systems—everyone just bootlegs them. However, gray water legality is almost always an issue for permitted new construction and remodeling, unless you're in a visionary state such as Arizona or New Mexico.

Texas Codes Concerning Gray water

Texas has followed the lead of Arizona and New Mexico.

Texas Gray Water Law copied from the sites below, to ours, January 2009.

Rule 285.81-Texas Administrative Code, 2001- Summary: permits are not required for domestic gray water systems that use less than 400 gallons per day, and follow the requirements listed in the rule (follow link for more info).

General Texas water code, or part of code that deals with gray water

Texas Health and Safety Code "Gray water Standards"

Study done by Texas A&M university that puts the Texas Administrative Code concerning on-site gray water systems into a clear and easy to read format with good diagrams. It states that gray water from washing machines, bathtubs, and non-kitchen sinks can be used in gray water systems.

ABOVE: Approximate daily water usage per person. Notice that while only 80% of the water can be recycled and re-used as gray water, that the largest use is irrigation for exterior landscaping. A gray water system working in conjunction with a drip irrigation system can reduce water usage by up to 90% overall.

ABOVE: Underground water storage tanks.

ABOVE: Gray water/ Black water tie in with ball valve (Green) to allow gray water to flow down black water line during maintenance of gray water storage tank. System is designed to be flexible in regards to maintenance and servicing the gray water collection system.

ABOVE: Picture showing Black water (Left vertical pipe) and Gray water (right vertical pipe) systems.

ABOVE: Underground gray water collection tank collects both recycled water from the homes bathroom sinks, Showers and washer and 100% of rain water run-off from the roof. This 2,000 gallon concrete tank can be cost effectively specifically manufactured to receive a integrated gray water/ automatic drip irrigation system. Holes are drilled into the top of the tank to allow the installation of service access hatch, submersible pump submersible pump that will directly tie into the drip irrigation system and a ventilation pipe. Together with a xeroscape landscape plan the water waste of the home is reduced by 90%.

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