Donna and I attended the annual home and garden show at Foster Coliseum last weekend. Lots of vendors were there showing their goods. I saw a nice green house, for example.
One vendor that really interested us was Morrow Water Savers out of nearby Ballinger, Texas. This company manufactures Irrigray, a gray water recycling system. This system collects gray water from a home, filters it, then disperses it into a yard using a system of sub surface dripperlines.
Gray water is water collected from showers, sinks, dishwasher, and clothes washer in a home. The water is directed to a filtering system. To take advantage of this, a house must be prepped so that gray water is separate from black water (toilet systems). In a pier and beam house, this can be fairly easily re-figured, but in a slab home such as hours, it really isn't financially or structurally practical. But should we ever build another home, we will certainly look into such a system. And we'll certainly look at other manufacturers as well.
In the Irrigray system, water is not stored. Once 5 gallons is collected, it is dispersed to the dripperlines. Consider how much water you use in your home each day for bathing, washing your hands, washing dishes, and washing clothes. There is enough water here to keep your yard healthy and green.
I'm not aware of what the downsides to such a system might be, but I'll be looking into that. I know that we used to be big fans of wind turbines until we watched a documentary that showed some of the negative effects of wind farms. So, I'm open to the idea that recycling gray water may have negative sides as well.
The important thing, though, is that all of us look for creative solutions to our water problems, and we need to focus on solutions that are good for the environment.