Sunday, July 10th, 2022

How (and why) to recycle water at home 

Shows rain water going into rain barrel

Recycling water at home used to be something very few people did on a regular basis.  But times change. Today, more homeowners than ever are finding ways to reuse water – whether it’s rain that’s gathered in barrels after a storm, or water that was just used for cooking. 

There are very good reasons to get into the habit of recycling water. First and foremost, it’s a great way to help preserve one of our planet’s most important resources that’s getting scarce. Consider this: we use about 88 gallons of water a day in the U.S. And a lot of that water gets wasted. 

Recycling water can also help you save money on your water bills. Every time you turn on the faucet, use the washing machine, or water the garden, you’re spending money. But if you use recycled water instead, you end up keeping more money in your pocketbook while also helping save the planet. It’s a win/win. 

The good news is that you don’t need fancy equipment get started. All you need are items you can buy at the local home improvement store and the willingness to think outside the box and try something new. 

Here are seven ways to recycle water at home:

Install a rain barrel

One of the easiest ways to capture and recycle water is with a rain barrel. These work by collecting rainwater from your home’s gutters. You can purchase rain barrels at your local home improvement store and install it yourself. 

Simply place the barrel near a downspout and attach the diverter so water funnels into the barrel. Then you can reuse the water in all kinds of ways – from watering the garden to washing the car. 

Invest in a gray water system

One of the most comprehensive ways to recycle water is to add a gray water system to your home. These work by taking what would otherwise be wastewater and recycling it so that it’s used for other purposes. While gray water is not safe to drink or use for cooking, it can be used for flushing toilets, washing clothes and watering plants. 

It is possible to install a gray water system on your own, however, if your house is older, or if you are looking for a comprehensive gray water system, it’s best to let a plumber do the job. While it may cost more to let a professional install the system, it’s great for ROI, and will add up to considerable savings when it comes to your water bill. 

Reuse shower water

Every time you take a shower, you’re using a lot of water and plenty of it gets wasted. We’re not suggesting you stop, or even limit, your showers. Instead, we have a much better solution: simply take a bucket into the shower with you to collect unused water. 

Then, use the water for your garden or houseplants. You might also be able to reuse bath water for the same purposes, unless you’ve used bath products with chemicals. That being said, a little soap in the water can act as a bug repellant in the flower garden. 

Don’t let your “warm up” water go down the drain

One big missed opportunity is not reusing the water you run in your shower, bath or sink as it heats up. This is another great time to use a bucket to collect and recycle water. Since this water is clean, you can use it for all sorts of things, from filling your pet’s water bowl to soaking dishes and silverware. 

Never leave a glass half full

Chances are, at the end of the day there are half filled glasses of water all over the house. Instead of collecting them and tossing the water down the drain, pour it in the dog’s water bowl, in planters or use it in the garden. Do the same with half-filled bottles of water, too. 

Aquarium owners, take note

Anyone who tends to an aquarium knows how much water it takes to keep it thriving so fish can live happily. If you have an aquarium that you clean on a regular basis, consider recycling the water rather than pouring it down the drain. Aquarium water is a great natural fertilizer, although you’ll want to steer clear of recycling it if it contains chemicals like algae killers. 

A word about pools

While pools are a fantastic addition to any home, they take a lot of water to fill, and a lot of that water gets wasted. This is especially obvious when the weather changes and it’s time to drain the pool, which amounts to thousands of gallons of old, dirty water being dumped. But did you know that pool water can be cleaned through reverse osmosis? With this method, the water can be reused so that it doesn’t end up in the ground, where it can cause even more pollution. 

Would you like to learn more about recycling water or installing a gray water system? Give us a call or contact  us for a quote. We always come highly recommended and have earned an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau for our expert quality of service. We’re here to help Cincinnati homeowners with all their plumbing needs.  You can follow us on Facebook, @Allied Reddi-Rooter for the latest tips or to ask questions.