Why Arizona Residents are Installing Graywater Systems
Why Arizona Residents are Installing Graywater SystemsJanuary 08 / 2016
Gray water systems are becoming more and more prevalent in Arizona homes as a way to conserve water while maintaining beautiful landscaping. Instead of using drinking water, these homeowners are reusing waste water to water their yards and non-edible plants. Not to be confused with black water, gray water, when processed correctly, is safe to use and contains no raw sewage. So, what is gray water? Gray water is considered wastewater that originates from a laundry machine, shower, bathroom sink, or a bathtub. It is water that is collected separately from sewage flow. Sewage flow comes from toilets, dishwasher and kitchen sinks. Gray water may contain the following: • Soap • Lint • Cleaners • Fabric softener • Grease • Oil • Cooking fats • Elevated levels of borax, sulfate, chlorides, and sodium Because of the elevated levels of some of these chemicals, it’s important to know the alkalinity level of your graywater to make sure the water is not harmful to sensitive plants. Is a permit required to use gray water? Municipalities like the city of Phoenix do not require residents to obtain an official permit. However, residents are required to adhere to 13 basic guidelines. These guidelines include things such as the following: • Human contact with gray water should be avoided. • Gray water can be used for irrigation and landscape beautification, but residents are responsible for containing run off. • Gray water cannot be sprayed. It may only be used via flood or drip irrigation. • Pipes carrying gray water should be labeled. • If backup happens, gray water needs to be disposed of via regular waste removal.