A non-partisan, neutral perspective supporting diversity in the color of water

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Greywater Gets Iced in Canada

The Canadians have been getting pretty creative with greywater reuse. One of the leaders in greywater reuse technology, Brac, is based in Canada and is being used in Portland, Oregon as described here. So is IDUS Controls as described here. Canadian Green Walls are legendary. 

And this posting described the innovative efforts of the Guelph, a city of 120,000 that rely exclusively on groundwater for their water supplies. This article in the Globe and Mail, provided an update on this project where "Wayne Galliher, Guelph’s water-conservation project manager, said it’s too soon to tell whether the municipality would consider making grey-water recycling – the reuse of bath, sink and laundry water – mandatory in new construction. Maintaining the systems has been an issue for some of the 28 homeowners involved in the city’s pilot project, but demand for water has dropped: a 25-per-cent reduction in older houses, 15-per-cent drop in newer ones.

Then there was a Zambonian effort to reuse greywater for making ice in Canadian ice rinks as outlined here, but the same article in the Globe and Mail provided this very sad update on the break-up of this project.

Reusing shower water in toilets could be an option for hockey arenas in Manitoba, although initially a grander scheme was envisioned. Instead of simply letting water drain away from locker-room showers at a Winnipeg hockey arena, a plan was hatched to capture that water, filter it, and use it to make ice.

If it worked, the provincial government had hoped the water-saving idea could be transplanted to every skating and curling rink in Manitoba. But preliminary results of a study examining the concept have raised health and financial questions and uncovered one insurmountable obstacle: using wastewater to create ice isn’t allowed under Canada’s plumbing code.

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We don't know who discovered water, but we know it wasn't the fish.
~Marshall McLuhan, Canadian communications theorist Educator, Writer and Social Reformer


  1. So I am assuming since there is a plumbing code regarding the use that it has already been attempted?

    Next question? What is the political and fiscal entities that would not want to change such policy? I mean who really loses here?

    1. Justin:

      My reading of this article along with the past posting suggests that it might have been attempted, but in a different province. I will have to explore this further to be certain, however.

      If you read the posting on Protecting the Public carefully, the "losers" are the folks who make money off the wastewater - treatment plants, wastewater engineers and operators, etc. who make money from the treatment and sale of treated wastewater. Just a quick examination of the Oregon situation in that posting indicates it is not pocket change.

      Thanks for reading!

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