Water is extremely important to the maintenance of our communities, our economic well-being and to our environment. The key challenge is that the management of water is not all that simple. We face challenges relating to depleting fresh water supplies, longer periods of droughts, and an increasing trend towards urbanization. As the stresses on our centralized water and waste water facilities grow, cities have been forced to identify new ways of managing their local water resources. Onsite water treatment and water reuse is one important strategy.
Water reuse systems like Greyter’s have been successfully operating for decades and throughout the world – in Santa Monica, San Francisco, New York, Toronto, Portland, Seattle, Texas and Oman. Tokyo mandates water reuse! These cities and many others are helping create a new paradigm in water management by adopting strategies to conserve and reuse water. An important part of this strategy is the integration of smaller, decentralized onsite water systems within our broader centralized system.
The dense, urban city of San Francisco recognized that water generated onsite could save up to 95% of water within new buildings. As such, in September of 2012, the City and County of San Francisco adopted an ordinance that would allow buildings to collect, treat and reuse alternate water sources for non-potable uses such as toilet flushing and irrigation. In 2013, the ordinance was amended to allow two or more buildings to share alternate water sources. Alternate water sources vary but include rainwater, stormwater, greywater (graywater) and blackwater. The San Francisco Public Utilities (SFPUC) went a step further by providing financial incentives for those interested in adopting water reuse practices and solutions. SFPUC’s grant assistance program will provide up to $250,000 for single-building projects adopting non-potable water reuse, and as much as $500,000 for projects where two or more buildings share alternative water sources. San Francisco is not alone in providing financial incentives to encourage the growth in onsite water systems. Santa Monica waives building permits fees and New York City provides waste water allowances to properties incorporating onsite water systems. As a result, Developers and designers are incorporating innovative onsite water systems like Greyter’s into their projects. Furthermore, successful programs like San Francisco’s are providing the blueprint for others looking to conserve, reuse, and diversify their water supply.
For more details of San Francisco’s non-potable program click here.