When considering purchasing a Grey Water Recycling System, we understand that as well as the water saving aspect, there is also a financial aspect to consider. When looking into whether or not a Greywater Recycling System is for you, you should consider the following.
- The initial upfront capital investment for the system. See our Residential page or contact us for prices.
- Cost of installation – The cost of installation can vary depending on whether you are already having major renovation works carried out in the property or building, or if you’re planning on incorporating the Greywater Recycling System into a new build property. If so, we would first recommend checking with the plumber or contractor that is already onsite if they can install the system alongside the rest of the works being undertaken. This is the best way to ensure the most cost effective installation. It should be noted that the Aquaco Home range of water recycling systems are specifically designed to be easy to install by a domestic plumber or a competent DIY enthusiast.
- Maintenance costs are minimal for the domestic sized system. A maintenance kit can be purchased from us which contains the media and consumables to last approximately one year. The Greywater Systems are very low maintenance and the consumables are easy to replace yourself.
- There are minimal running costs involved with the domestic systems, this consists of the electricity used to power the pumps and the maintenance kit. However, it should be noted the unit will only run when there is a demand from the building, this ensures lower power consumption and less wear and tear on the pump.
Our systems are designed to save water and money for years to come so you will be future-proofing your home against increases in water prices, and our systems will make your home more resilient to climate change.
System Types Available
Greywater – Greywater is wastewater collected from hand-wash basins, showers, baths, that would otherwise go down the drain. It is then processed through our system, and redirected through a pump to the toilets for flushing. This gives your wastewater a second life, and reduces the volume of clean potable water you would otherwise be using.
Rainwater – Rainwater harvesting systems do exactly that – they harvest the rainwater from your roof and this can be supplied to flush toilets, for irrigation, vehicle washing or even supplying your washing machine. This will ultimately save you money on a reduction of the requirement of mains water as you would only be using potable water for drinking, showering/bathing/handwashing and supplying the dishwasher.
Combined – Our combined system encompassed features of both the grey and rainwater systems. Harvested rainwater from the roof is primarily used for external uses including irrigation, vehicle washing and laundry, while the greywater side of the system will process water from sinks, baths and showers and reuse it for toilet flushing. If you are looking for the most efficient system which maximises the amount of water recycled (thus lowering water costs) the combined system is recommended.
Number of people in the building
The number of people in the building has a direct impact on the amount of demand and also supply. The unique aspect of greywater recycling is demand naturally follows supply.
The more people in the home means a higher volume of water is consumed through showering/bathing and washing hands, so there is more grey water available to collect.
More people in the home will also naturally lead to an increase in the number of times the toilet is used, which is supplied from the recycling system. So this creates a natural equilibrium of supply and demand.
Where do you want to use the water?
There are more places you can use recycled water than you might think.
WC Flushing – Our Greywater systems allow you to save water by recycling greywater that would otherwise go straight down the drain, by using it to flush toilets. The average toilet uses around 5 litres of clean, potable water every flush (but depending on the toilet, this could be up to 7 litres). The average person uses the toilet around 3-5 times a day so that’s upto 25 litres of water, per person, per day. For an average family of four, this will save you 100 litres of water per day! That’s 700 litres of water per week and a whopping 36,400 litres per year! That’s money literally being flushed down the toilet.
Irrigation- Greywater can be used for irrigation purposes however it is best to only use it with non edible plants and through drip-feed irrigation. This is due to the nature of the water and even then, we would only recommend using greywater for irrigation if you have an excess supply. It’s primary use should be for toilet flushing.
If you are looking for a system that can incorporate recycled water for irrigation, we would recommend our Combined Water Recycling System, which uses harvested rainwater for irrigation. With any pressurised irrigation we would always recommend the addition of a UV light to systems being sold. The UV light acts as a biocide to kill any lingering bacteria. This will prevent bacteria like legionellae from becoming airborne and then being breathed in by individuals that may become ill or worse as a result.
Collection potential There is no one-size fits all approach when it comes to Rainwater harvesting. It varies from property to property, and building to building. However, for Greywater, the demand generally matches the supply. If an average family of 4 all shower once per day, the tank will collect enough water to supply the toilets for the same 4 people. There may be days where you have a slightly higher demand e.g. when you have guests. If the tank was to run out of greywater, the mains water top-up would kick in so you will never be without water. The same goes for the rainwater systems.
Optimal RW Tank Size
The greywater tanks we provide are generally a standard size. This is because the demand usually matches the supply so the storage of the water is only temporary and therefore the turnover of water is relatively high. We sell an XL version for buildings with a higher supply (for houses with more than 6 bedrooms) or small commercial buildings with the same level of demand. The tank size is more important when referring to rainwater systems. This is because the tank must be big enough to ensure you are collecting as much water as possible, but without risking stagnation as a result of too large a tank. Stagnation can result in excess bacterial growth and discolouration.
Saving money with Greywater systems
Do greywater systems save money?
The financial savings are made by giving water that would otherwise go straight down the drain, a second life. You can reduce your potable water usage by up-to 35% installing a greywater system by using the water collected from showers, baths and hand-wash basins to flush the toilets, instead of perfectly clean, treated potable water. If you compliment the rest of the property with a rainwater harvesting system, then you can save even more potable water, up-to 65%+ by harvesting your own rainwater and using that to wash your vehicles or patios, water your plants and even wash your laundry.
How much money does a greywater system save?
The answer is, it depends. It depends how much you pay per litre of water in your area (which can fluctuate throughout the year) and it depends on your demands and habits as a household. We understand that there is a financial implication to consider when buying a greywater or rainwater recycling system, however, the main benefit of these systems is to save water and therefore reduce demand on local water supplies. Our population is growing at a very fast rate and with global temperatures rising, our weather system is going to become evermore unpredictable. There will be periods of rain causing flash floods but also months without a drop of rain. Our systems will not only future proof your home or business against future water price hikes, but in the event of a drought, you can avoid additional costs and hosepipe bans by recycling your own water.
What are the disadvantages of greywater?
Greywater recycling systems can be fairly invasive when it comes to internal plumbing works. We usually recommend greywater systems for new-build properties, or for large/in depth renovation projects that would involve a plumber or plumbing contractor being on site already. This would make it far more cost effective, in some cases our clients have managed to negotiate contractors to install for free with existing works! As they are designed to be very straightforward to install. Rainwater systems are generally less invasive for installation as the system and supply connections are all generally external to the property.
Is a greywater system worth it?
If you want to be able to recycle your grey wastewater in order to reduce your water consumption then yes, a greywater system is definitely for you. If you are in it purely for a short term payback on investment, then like all sustainable technologies (Solar, Air Source Heat pumps etc) there is generally a comparable payback period. There is no specific figure that can be applied across all properties, so check your water bill and calculate the cost per m3 for supply and sewerage fees as you will see a reduction on both with our systems installed.
It’s worth noting that water prices vary considerably from region to region. One household may be on a water meter, where others might not be. You may live in an area that gets a lot of rain compared with other areas. There are so many variables to consider, it is not just black and white.
Another key factor is you will be future proofing your property against large price hikes from suppliers for water in the future, as you will be cycling a large portion of your water this investment will ensure your costs don’t follow the prices of your water supplier.
And remember, you don’t have to just choose one or the other. If you want to take your recycling venture even further, look into our combined systems which incorporates both greywater recycling and rainwater harvesting. You can always use our online tool to help you size your grey water system or contact us for more information