Grey Water

Grey Water

Ambience: Water in drain
Just because water isn’t drinkable, doesn’t mean it’s not usable. I’m Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet.

Schoenholtz: Grey water is water that’s already been used in one form or another.

Stephen Schoenholtz is a professor in the Department of Forest resources and environmental conservation at Virginia Tech.

Schoenholtz: So gray water would be that water used that you shower with, water that’s gone through your sink or you washed your dishes with — any water that’s gone through some use that no longer makes it drinkable or potable.
And gray water has a lot of uses. In the United States for example, when we turn on the tap, we use potable drinkable water for every possible use. Alternatives would be to use gray water to flush our toilets. Do we need to use drinking water to flush a toilet? Do we need to use drinking water to wash a car? Do we need to use drinking water to water the lawn? These are all areas where we can easily use graywater and in no way infringe upon our quality of life.
Tax credits for gray water systems would be a wonderful market incentive for homeowners and industries to utilize grey water. And there are motives financially for industries to reuse water and be efficient.

Grey water is not widely used in agriculture

Schoenholtz: They generally are using groundwater, which is not gray water. And they’re using surface waters, pumping out a rivers and streams, which is also not grey water. There are aspects of agriculture where they do reuse water, recycled water that’s gone through sewage systems that’s high in nutrients that can be a benefit to agriculture.
Those are opportunities that I think are relatively available in the spectrum of solutions.

We’ll hear more about water in future programs. I’m Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet.

Grey Water

If water isn't drinkable, that doesn't mean it's not usable.
Air Date:05/04/2018
Scientist:
Transcript:

Grey Water

Ambience: Water in drain
Just because water isn't drinkable, doesn't mean it's not usable. I'm Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet.

Schoenholtz: Grey water is water that's already been used in one form or another.

Stephen Schoenholtz is a professor in the Department of Forest resources and environmental conservation at Virginia Tech.

Schoenholtz: So gray water would be that water used that you shower with, water that's gone through your sink or you washed your dishes with -- any water that's gone through some use that no longer makes it drinkable or potable.
And gray water has a lot of uses. In the United States for example, when we turn on the tap, we use potable drinkable water for every possible use. Alternatives would be to use gray water to flush our toilets. Do we need to use drinking water to flush a toilet? Do we need to use drinking water to wash a car? Do we need to use drinking water to water the lawn? These are all areas where we can easily use graywater and in no way infringe upon our quality of life.
Tax credits for gray water systems would be a wonderful market incentive for homeowners and industries to utilize grey water. And there are motives financially for industries to reuse water and be efficient.

Grey water is not widely used in agriculture

Schoenholtz: They generally are using groundwater, which is not gray water. And they're using surface waters, pumping out a rivers and streams, which is also not grey water. There are aspects of agriculture where they do reuse water, recycled water that's gone through sewage systems that's high in nutrients that can be a benefit to agriculture.
Those are opportunities that I think are relatively available in the spectrum of solutions.

We'll hear more about water in future programs. I'm Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet.