Environment: Water recycling the next hot topic?

07/09/2015

Environment: Water recycling the next hot topic?

LOS ANGELES – July 3, 2015 – New water filtering technology that recycles a home's water may soon become the answer to homeowners in water-challenged locations. Some officials say the technology may even offer more potential than solar panels.

The new technology lives under two manhole-like covers on the side of a home. It pulls in soapy water, such as from the shower, laundry, dishwasher and sink (not toilet water), and sends it into a cleaning system. "Gray water" then emerges, which can be used for irrigation and flushing toilets. The water cannot be used for drinking or washing.

"In five years time, every new home will have a water recycler in it," predicts Ralph Petroff, chairman of Nexus eWater, the Australia-based company behind the technology.

Homebuilder KB Home has bought into the technology and announced that it will become standard in more than 50 homes in a new San Diego development it's building. It's also showing off the technology in model homes in Sacramento and Lancaster, Calif.

The new technology costs slightly under $10,000 per home to install. The price will likely go down as more builders adopt it, and it becomes more common, Petroff says.

"There is no alternative to water. That's what Californians are discovering every day," Petroff says.

"The biggest advantage (of water recycling) is that new homes are way more water efficient; that they are on smaller lots with very little landscaping, they can put in very drought resistant plants, and somebody concerned about their water bill would have a huge advantage buying a new home over a resale home," says John Burns, founder of John Burns Real Estate Consulting.

Source: "A House That Thumbs Its Nose at the Drought," CNBC (May 19, 2015)

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