Water is one of the most critical needs for sustaining life, and having a ready supply of water is something that most Californians and Americans, in general, take for granted.
However, after many years of severe drought in California, and many more predicted to come over the next few decades, the presumption of a clean and plentiful municipal water supply to your home may no longer be viable in the future.
Fortunately, you have a number of ways that you can prepare for the water needs of your home before the situation becomes dire. Here are two simple yet smart and highly effective ways that you can create a more self-sufficient home water supply and ensure that your home can deal with potential water shortages and restrictions in the future.
1. Install a Rainwater Collection Tank
Until recently, collecting and using rainwater in California was difficult to do legally and required a tax payment increase for the homeowner. However, recent legislation has removed many of these barriers and made gathering and storing rainwater easier and more affordable.
The change in legislation was largely due to the growing awareness of changing rainfall patterns in the state. This also acknowledged how the built environment and concrete use contributes to water supply reduction. A significant amount of stormwater is no longer able to penetrate the ground and return to underground aquifers for use as municipal rainwater.
Effectively, this means that you can now install a rainwater collection tank to store either potable or unpotable water. If you want to use the collected rainwater as potable water — meaning water to drink, cook, and bathe in — you will need to make sure that you have a filtration and purification system that meets state guidelines.
Due to reduced rainfall in California in recent years, relying on your stored rainwater may not be enough to meet 100% of your home's water needs. However, this is a great way to make the most of the infrequent periods of heavy rain and reduce your reliance on water an outside source supplies.
2. Install a Gray Water Recycling System
Every home produces water waste. Professionals categorize this waste as either blackwater or gray water. Blackwater is the sewage that a home's toilets produce as well as wastewater from kitchen drains that contains food scraps or particles. Gray water is the water waste from showers, baths, bathroom tubs, and washing machines.
Blackwater contains human waste and food derived bacteria that means that professionals need to remove from the home and treat. However, gray water is cleaner, which means that an independent residential system can divert, store, and reuse this water.
Gray water is suitable to use in the garden, for irrigation systems, and sometimes to flush your home's toilets. Use cleaning products that are low in sodium if you plan to use gray water in your garden.
Diverting and recycling your gray water is an excellent choice when facing an uncertain future regarding water availability. This means that you will reduce your reliance on municipal water or your stored rainwater for uses that do not require pristine, purified water. This also means that, during times of stringent water use restrictions, you will still be able to keep your garden healthy and well-watered.
Installing a rainwater collection tank and a gray water diversion and storage system are not tasks that you will be able to complete as a home DIY project. You will need to use the services of an experienced and licensed plumbing service. Contact the friendly team at Art Douglas Plumbing Inc. to find out more about preparing for your home's future water needs.