For builders around the globe seeking out more eco-friendly piping solutions, POLYMELT is often their first choice. Part of the reason is that our pipes are 100-percent recyclable, leading to a big reduction in waste. But POLYMELT pipes are also tremendously valuable for use in beneficial, non-potable water reuse systems.

Graywater is wastewater from bathtubs, shower drains, sinks, washing machines, carwashes, and dishwashers, accounting for about 50–80 percent of the outflow produced in large buildings and facilities. In buildings such as schools, graywater mostly comes from sinks and shower drains, possibly dishwashers.

In many buildings, graywater and other wastewater is usually combined at the sewer. Sewage water is chemically treated to limit pollution and health risks before being returned to the environment; most graywater ends up as effluent in rivers and oceans. When separated, because it contains little or no pathogens and 90 percent less nitrogen than black water (flushed from toilets/urinals), graywater does not require the same treatment process to neutralize it.

Designing a plumbing system to separate graywater from black water allows graywater to be reused for irrigation, toilet flushing, and exterior washing. This requires additional space for a holding tank or a series of filters. The costs for the drain pipe of a graywater system are minimal if the system is installed with the potable water rough-in while a building is under construction. But total cost of a reclaimed water system depends on the site and the type of system installed.

A graywater system can add up to 20 percent to the cost of the plumbing system, but it’s an effective approach if water restrictions in the local area were such that it made more sense to install reuse systems with POLYMELT polypropylene (PP-R) pipes. In fact, the need to conserve potable water is driving the adoption of graywater reuse in many areas around the world. The use of non-potable water systems can contribute up to 10 LEED points on a project.

The continued rise of graywater reuse systems will be driven by the need to conserve water as well as the increased cost of water. In three to five years, graywater reuse systems will be standard in many regions. In 10–15 years, we may wonder why we ever flushed toilets with potable water in the first place. POLYMELT is ready to provide long-lasting, eco-friendly piping for non-potable reuse systems across the United States. If you’re ready to earn LEED credits, save money on water, and build more responsibly, contact us today for a free consultation from our piping system experts.