Gray Water – Alternative for Home Use

What role does gray water play in today’s efforts to manage our dwindling water resources?

So much of the water used at home is left to flow into the drain when it could be used for other things like watering the garden or the lawn, or maybe even washing your car. This “gray water” runoff is usually what’s left over after you have a bath, wash the dishes and wash clothes. Whether you know it or not, that kind of “secondary” water use in the home generates 40 gallons of water a day for each person in the house. Just imagine how much more economical a homeowner would be is they re-used the gray water. Translation: lower water bills.

The interesting thing is that if homeowners did choose to recycle their gray water, they could cut water use by at least 25 percent, and that’s not so shabby. For states that are struggling to maintain and responsibly manage their water supplies, this would be a major boon. It’s been estimated that 36 states will be facing water shortages by 2013.

They might even be able to keep up with the demand if people recycled gray water. Arizona and New Mexico go for this practice in a big way, as do a few other states. However, some states find the requirements to be way too complex to be able to implement.

Oregon’s most recent innovative attempt to expand the definition of gray water shows they are on the right track to utilize this water and make a significant difference to their state water resources. Their definition rules out using water contaminated by toxins or human waste, so they’d be nixing toilets and washing machines where the homeowner washes cloth diapers. Obviously, gray water isn’t intended for drinking, but it does have a place in the greater scheme of the world of recycling as it is still safe and useable water for other things.

While using gray water is relatively safe for some things, this raises the question about tap water in American homes. Is it safe to drink? The answer to that question is, “No.” There are so many contaminants in the water no one would be able to name them all. They range from herbicides and pesticides to legal prescription drugs and illegal street drugs, not to mention chemicals we dump in the water to make it “safe.” Dumping Chloramines and/or straight chlorine into the water to kill the bad gunk just means the “other bad gunk” being killed is replaced by chlorine, which is just as bad. This is the point when you need to consider water distillers and water distillation systems for the home.

Just lately scientists have figured out what long-term exposure to chlorine means and it isn’t encouraging. Chlorine is touted as a “necessary” thing to keep our water drinkable. The real truth is that chlorine and chlorine by-products cause cell damage in our bodies as well as heart problems.

The only way to ensure you have fresh, clean and the purest possible drinking water in your home is to invest in water distillers and your own home water distillation systems.

Larry Wardell is with, a provider of water distillers and water distillation systems. To learn more about Water distillers, water distillation systems, water purification systems, visit

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