The future for water reuse
Initiatives such as LEED certification and the National Association of Homebuilders “National Green Building Standard” are being promoted to rate buildings on their water conservation credentials. With the support of these and other regulatory initiatives the future for water reuse systems is predicted to expand significantly driven by the concern on water supply, the increasing cost of energy, and the growing demand for sustainability.
Waste streams are now being recognized as a significant source of water.
Water is a key global issue, many regions are experiencing varying degrees of drought and there is concern that more regions will experience water shortages. This threat has put a focus on how water is used and the approach to water use, reclaim and reuse.
These concerns are leading to an appreciation of the water value within waste streams and increasingly homeowners to municipalities are recognizing the need to recover this water. For example, Florida has set a target to reuse 75% of wastewater by 2025.
A major sustainability initiative introduced in the UK is the “Code for Sustainable Homes” and part of this initiative is to reduce overall potable water consumption from 180 litres per day (l/p/d) to 80 l/p/d, a 56% reduction, by 2016.
It is estimated that 25% of the potable water entering homes is used to flush toilets. Given the future risks of water shortages and the cost of providing purified water for drinking, any unnecessary waste of potable water on activities such as flushing toilets, washing clothes, washing the car, watering the garden, and fire protection is not sustainable.
This has led to a growing recognition that infrastructure investment should be focused on sustainable on-site and decentralized reuse technologies where water is captured, treated, and reused locally.