20 April 2012

Water, Water everywhere....

Discussions on the radio today on saving water, included the following

1) if is yellow, let is mellow ie. if it is only urine then don't flush after each visit
2) using bath water to flush the toilet
3) using bath/washing up water in the garden
4) installing a dual flushing system

I try and conserve money and water, wherever I can.. but I am not certain about 1) whether it is just me or my need for hygiene

What about you? how do you conserve water and reduce water bills?


soubriquet said...

1)If you don't flush urine, then you'll get a crusty deposit of limescale and uric acid salts in your toilet. In short, after a while, your toilet will look and smell like one in a filthy truckstop.
Of course, you can clean it regularly with proprietary cleaners, which will do more harm to the overall environment than just flushing.
2)Using bathwater to flush the toilet means you need to break into the bath-drain pipe and insert a t-branch into a storage tank, into which you fit a pump to raise the water to a holding tank above the toilet. The bathwater has in it soap, human body-fat, skin scales, hair, earwax, etc etc.
It will stink after a while. You might want to pass it through a green, reedbed-type filtration system, into a pond in the garden, then pump it back in through sand and fibre and carbon filters, before you flush with it, or you'll have a toilet filled with grey smelly scum.
3)slightly simpler than 2. still need to divert the bathwater into a holding tank and then? hosepipe? irrigation system?
4)Install a dual flushing system? I'd guess it means a two litre urine flush, with a six litre solids one. That sometimes works. However, low volume flushes tend to be, unsurprisingly, less efficient. And therefore get flushed twice or more, using more water than the standard flush.

Now if you really wanted to be green, you'd use a composting toilet and use your composted solid waste as an organic fertiliser, and you'd pee in a separate receptacle, and believe me, you could grow great tomatoes, melons, squashes, all manner of things.

Of course, for most of us, all these ideas are somewhat impractical, so the best you can do is reduce the time you spend in the shower, the level of water in the bath, wash eveything from clothes, to dishes, to self more efficiently, use effective, not excessive amounts of cleaning agents, soaps etc. Collect rainwater for garden and car-washing.
Oh. And wherever possible, if you're concerned at water bills, 'give at the office'. Never pass up an opportunity to pee in someone else's toilet.

Disclaimer: I'm a plumber, in part of my life, with 35+ years interest in eco-friendly alternative technology, and environmental engineering. Including design and installation of 100% self sufficient, off-grid systems.

Here are some resources for your consideration:http://store.cat.org.uk/index.php?cPath=235_88

Jennyta said...

In the summer of 1976, I remember an article in one of the women's magazines explaining how to have a shower using only a bottle full of water. :)

A. said...

The one thing I won't do is get into a cold shower, so I wish they'd devise a means of not wasting the water run through until it's hot enough. Maybe Soubriquet, the eco-friendly engineer could apply his mind to that.