As a follow-up to this posting, an article in Medill Reports which is written and produced by graduate journalism students at Northwestern University’s Medill school, provides an update on the greywater system in Oak Park.
“The equipment cost us $2,000,” she said, adding that “The expectation is that we will save up to 27 percent of our water use.” Standing in an upstairs bathroom, she pointed to a set of pipes. “The pipes funnel water down from the tub into the greywater tank, located in our basement.” The greywater tank then filters the water to remove contaminants like hair and shampoo, she said, and ”then pushes the water up through a different pipe into the toilet.”
Thanks to outdated plumbing codes, greywater systems are banned in the state of Illinois. But Garcia-Doyle and her husband successfully petitioned the state, and received a variance to install one in their home. She is only the third homeowner in the state to have a greywater system.
In the future, Illinois homeowners may not have to jump through as many regulatory hoops to follow Doyle-Garcia’s example. Legislation has been proposed that would update codes and clear the way for graywater use; the measure is slated to be reviewed next May.
She still can’t water the yard with graywater, however. Garcia-Doyle said Illinois, for now, doesn’t permit the use of greywater to irrigate plants.
Yes, great things are beginning to happen in the Gateway to Iowa.