A New Concept In Green Plumbing Goes Online.
A whole new dimension to the concept of a green plumbing system for residential homes can now be seen in the first combination system for recycling gray water and simultaneously harvesting rain water which has just been installed in a new custom-built home in Lafayette in the San Francisco Bay Area.
The Contra Costa County home was “Dual-Plumbed” from the outset. Dual Plumbing involves the installation of parallel but separate pipes to carry gray water and black water inside the same building. The piping for the the lavatory, the sinks, the tubs and showers and the laundry were installed parallel to kitchen sink drains and the toilet, which are Black Water. This new configuration complies with current local building code.
The motivated homeowner worked closely from the get-go with the architect, the building contractor and the plumber to obtain the necessary permit for the gray water-rain water plumbing configuration. The permit has now been obtained, hopefully setting the stage for similar systems to be installed in Contra County and other surrounding counties in the Bay Area.
The gray water system is designed to capture the water draining from showers and sinks and then use it to irrigate the garden. Grey water is cleaned and filtered in a specially-built wetland, which uses special plants which have properties to effectively remove nitrates and phosphates from the water. The system then uses gravels and soils to filter other unwanted elements from the water, which is then collected in a storage tank located underground. Before the gray water is pumped through the property’s irrigation system, it is further filtered with UV sterilization.
The rain water is collected in two 1700-gallon tanks which are buried underneath the patio. After being filtered and stored in the tanks, the rain water is then pumped back into the house and will be used for laundry use and toilet flushing.
Other features of this Green Building Project also include the use of recycled materials, radiant hydronic heating, LED lighting and conscious design.