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

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Seeing Green with Grey Water


We have seen this before. The greyvolution by students working on water reuse projects in many locations across the world ranging from elementary students science fair projects, university student projects entered into international competitions despite "official" government positions contrary to the student recommendations, to the highly competitive world of new designers that the famous Australian vacuum cleaner designer Dyson hosts as discussed here, here, here, here and here.

Engineering students at Oregon State University completed the preliminary design for a greywater and rainwater reuse system for a natural foods store located in Corvallis as part of the Corvallis Sustainability Coalition's efforts to show the public how to lower the water use in the city by at least 30%. The Rainbow Water Coalition served as a resource for the design team who struggled with whether they had to design the greywater/rainwater system from scratch, including the piping and pumping systems, or if they could incorporate existing technology. Their design diagram shown here reveals the result - go with ready made technology. The students used the handy search engine on the Rainbow Water Coalition using the keyword "gadget" and were overwhelmed with the listing of cool greywater stuff, some of which they found to their surprise, was designed, developed, and sold by OSU engineering alum.  Their final recommendation was to go with a BRAC system - a Canadian product used elsewhere in public buildings in Oregon.

The newest entry into  the greyvolution is Canadian student Brianna Bouius gold medal award winning project "Seeing Green with Grey Water" where she "...examined how different dish detergents, when mixed with water, affect the growth of ivy plants over a 14-week period. Conventional dish detergents made the ivy grow at a slower rate than water alone, she said, while plants watered with a solution containing "green" dish soap had a slow start but caught up later. A natural lemon dish soap she used actually helped the plants grow better than water alone, she said. Bouius said her findings prove that grey water left over from washing dishes can be reused to water plants...and...She said for every 1,000 gallons of water saved, carbon emissions can be cut by 1.55 kilograms".

Pretty impressive analysis from a 12-year old!
* * * 
The duty of youth is to challenge corruption.
~ Grunge Star Musician Kurt Cobain

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