download the 24 sec cartoon from: http://grey-water.tripod.com/ and use it freely
In 2005, the total value of the U.S. water recycling and reuse industry was over $2.1 billion. BCC predicts that total market revenue will grow at an average annual rate of just over 8.8% through 2010, yielding total revenue in 2010 of just under $3.3 billion.
The overall market revenue growth rate of 8.8% reflects the fact that significant innovation is still occurring, making technologies more accessible to a greater number of potential buyers, as well as the fact that the underlying market - the wastewater recycling and reuse market - is heading into a replacement
Grey-Water Recycling History and Development:
Check out the main site: www.grey-water.hu where you can see and download the
animation in 17 languages.
The "Water Closet" or WC, the latrine using water to flush the toilet was invented about 150 years ago. Since then solutions have always been sought for not to waste clean water by flushing the toilet, or at least to limit the water quantity used for this purpose.
The grey-water systems used in the past were using grey-water tanks in the basement or in the garden. One of the recent systems built within an EU project is the Aquasave Project documented on CD which was carried out in Italy, in the
city of Bologna. The CD and website is excellent educational material, and an interesting technical trial and development. The EU financed 50% of the costs incurred which shows well how very important water management is for the European Union. Here is a picture presenting the system:
It can be seen that this is a "large system".
Another example which is already more compact, is the "AquaCycle" the details of which can be seen on the page: www.swamp-eu.org/pub/sample.pdf Here is a picture about the main element of the AquaCycle system:
PONTOS and AquaCycle are trade-marks of the HANSGROHE group, who
developed a household grey-water system, recycling the used water from the bathroom to feed the flushing toilet, to use the recycled water in the washing machine and to use it for cleaning and to water the garden. Every important system element is built into one and the same unit, which is very practical and enables easy instalment.
Another system is the GEP IGM system, conceived for houses.
GEP Umwelttechnik GmbH :IGM Graywater-Recycling-Equipment
Another similar but even smaller system is the: Twin-Flow, a trade mark of the German www.soltech.de company. This system uses already a smaller tank of
about 500 litres. Until today, this is the simplest and smallest household grey-water system in production. Here also, every important system element is built into one and the same unit making the system easier to install in the house. Compared to the complicated and very costly system of the AquaSave Project this is much simpler
which makes it more available to a larger public. In the USA hundreds of thousands of houses have grey-water system, the building of which costs between USD.10 thousand (if built in at the time of constructions planned beforehand) and
as much as 50 thousand (if the system has to be installed by converting the whole building). Building in a compact system like Hansgrohe or Twin-Flow, the costs
can be considerable reduced. Here are two pictures presenting Twin-Flow:
The compact systems are, however still too large and costly, when we need a grey-water system in a simple, smaller flat. The majority of people live in flats, and not in detached, or semi-detached houses. The systems presented above are excellent solution, but they are not readily available for the population living in flats. We must find a solution to offer the opportunity to use grey-water systems to everybody, also to those people, including myself, who live in relatively smaller flats, where there is no room to accommodate 500 litres tanks. We must also consider the cost element. A smaller and simpler and cheaper solutions must be developed, making it available for the public.
THE PROBLEM TO BE SOLVED:
- Where to store a larger quantity of water, which is about 30 times more than the minimum quantity needed for one toilet flushing? The biggest problem is storage, then treating. Some thrifty people put aside the washing water in buckets, so that they could use it to flush the toilet. I adore those people, because they save not only for themselves, at the cost of a lot of extra work invested in "bucketing", but they also save water to the other people, to all of us. Bucketing raises also the question: is it hygienic? Definitely not. And even if the buckets are covered the bacteria is
multiplying so quickly, that after two days the water goes stale, and smells – if not
treated with disinfectant. The majority of us is not willing to do this extra household chore. So where to store grey-water?
- We have the toilet flushing tank.
- Ok, but it can store only a limited quantity of water which is enough only for one flushing. Or if it has a double-actuator button, like the one Geberit [Switzerland]
produces, it can store water for maximum two small urine flushing.
- But how can we store in a toilet flushing tank much more water, say 30 times more water than the water quantity necessary for one flushing?
- The answer to this solution is a larger tank. We pour much more water into the tank, while, at the same time, we fix the floating buoy at a height where it normally stands, so the extra water covers the floating buoy, thus the floating buoy becomes an under-water plunger buoy.
- Ok, but how will it work?
- The answer to the problem is a "stick" which connects the underwater plunger buoy with the tap-water opening valve. This stick is going through the greywater column, all the way long to reach the tap water opening valve.
In the fully electronic version, this becomes a "virtual stick" as it is replaced by water sensors and electromagnetic water valves connected to the electronic control unit.
The most interesting thing is that this stick which offered us the solution is hardly used, since due to teh fact that much more grey-water is produced daily within a household than is needed to cover the water quantity needed for flushing the toilet.
So we borrowed something to resolve the problem, and the borrowed thing in not really needed in the end.
Here your are, the simplest, smallest, cheapest grey-water system, which is capable to accommodate, store, treat (filtering, disinfecting) and to distribute, feed and measure grey-water in much larger quantities than necessary for one single flushing, using only one single tank automatically :
This is the "smallest grey-water system" ever having the following characteristics and advantages in comparison to the larger systems presented at the beginning: .
1. Simplicity : this can be produced by using a simple barrel of about 200 litres, the filters are two mechanic filters, and between the two filters a solid disinfectant cake is placed, similar to the WC blocks put into urinaries, or hung on the sides of toilet bowls in little plastic holders.
2. Easy to install: the tubing is from rubber hose or plastic hose.
3. Not only inexpensive, but definitely CHEAP: any-one can make one at
home, "Do it yourself".
4. Easy maintenance: all you need to do is to check regularly the filters and to clean them if necessary, and to replace the disinfectant if it is used up (about once in a fortnight).
5. Flushing water reserve for water shortage: in case of temporary water
shortage, you still have water in the giant grey-water tank.
6. Fire extinguishing water reserve: in case of fire, you will have some water
extinguishing water, about 100 to 200 litres.
7. Multiple supply: One grey-water tank or washing machine can supply the
flushing water to 1, 2, 3 or 4 toilets. More is not advisable. Tha tank should not be more than about 150 liters in capacity. It must be kept small, and the greywater must be stirring as often as possible. This system is good only for family use, within one single household. If a larger tank is made, many problems can arise: formation of sediment, sludge. The filtering and disinfecting unit is planned uniquely for this small system, it is not sufficient for handling greaywater volumes in much larger volume than a few hundred liters daily. The more greywater is reused, the oftener the filtering/disinfecting unit must be checked/cleaned. (the timer/warner can be adjusted accordingly)
However the simplest single tank version can be used only if you live in a duplex, i.e. a two-storied flat, and you have the bathroom and the washing machine upstairs, and the single-tank grey-water system downstairs.
If this is not the case, you need a pump to forward the grey-water to the tank. For this, there is another version, when the tank is using the washing machine, as in the cartoon you can see above. You can also opt for the version when the single-tank system is equipped with its own pump unit and Central Processing Unit to coordinate the grey-water recycling activities. This is illustrated by the picture below: