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What is Greywater?

Written by Rebekah Hildebrand

May 15, 2020

Plumbed water is classified into three categories depending on the source: white water, greywater, and black water. The purest form is clean white water from a plumbing source. Greywater is used water from baths, showers, sinks, and washing machines. Black water is water that has come into contact with fecal matter from toilets.

Water Reuse

Water Comparison

Greywater has the potential for economic and environmental savings because it has the potential for reuse. Black water is not a viable option for reuse since it poses significant health hazards. Rainwater is another common source for water reuse, but does not fall under the category of greywater since it is not produced from plumbing.

With such a large volume of water suitable for reuse, it makes sense to take advantage of the environmental and cost savings. Many states, especially those with frequent drought, encourage the reuse of greywater.

Greywater Treatment

While greywater can be reused, storage is not advised. Any bacteria present will become an issue while the water sits. The development of greywater treatment systems allow water to be purified and stored for future reuse. Through extensive filtration and disinfection, solids are removed and bacteria are treated to eliminate health hazards. The image above shows a sample of laundry greywater before (left) and after (right) treatment.

High Volume Laundry Reuse

Greywater treatment systems are an economical and environmentally responsible solution for high volume laundry operations. A closed loop system allows commercial laundry operations such as laundromats and hotels with on premise laundry to repeatedly reuse greywater. A small volume of water is lost due to evaporation and water remaining on the linens after the wash. However, 80 to 90 percent of laundry water can be reclaimed for future use.

Call EnviroCleanse Systems at 410-827-8885 to speak with a technician about a laundry greywater system for your facility. EnviroCleanse Systems does not offer a greywater system for residential settings since the cost of the equipment cannot be justified for the volume of water produced.

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