In-home water recycling system could offer sustainability solution in Arizona

Sep 13, 2023, 4:35 AM | Updated: 10:39 am

water concerns...

(Arizona Department of Water Resources Photo)

(Arizona Department of Water Resources Photo)

PHOENIX — Water re-use is one way to stretch water resources in drought-stricken states like Arizona. Typically, it involves treated water being utilized for applications like non-human consumptive agriculture or parks.

However, there are also systems that allow for water to be re-used within the home. One example is Hydraloop, a Netherlands-based company that aims to give water new life.

Hydraloop units are about the size of a refrigerator and can be installed in a utility room. It works in tandem with a dual plumbing setup to allow the re-use of what’s called “greywater.”

“Greywater is lightly-contaminated water,” Melissa Lubitz, business development director for North America at Hydroloop, explained
“Anything in your bathroom sink where you’ve just washed or hands or brushed your teeth, in your shower and bath where you just have soaps, and laundry as well.”

That water is then sent to the Hydraloop unit to be treated for re-use.

“We put it through our six steps of treatment,” Lubitz said. “To remove any sediment, any hair, all the soaps, any organics, and especially all the bacteria.”

Once it’s cleaned by the unit, that greywater can then be used again for things like flushing toilets, doing laundry, or irrigation.

Many Arizona municipalities are looking into ways to shore up their water supplies and reduce water use. Systems like the Hydraloop offer an opportunity for individuals to stretch their water further.

These types of systems are expensive, however, and require specific plumbing setups. That makes them most viable for new development.

Hydraloop was involved in discussions with several major developers in Arizona, but the state’s restrictions on some new construction – announced this year due to concerns about water – put those discussions on hold.

Now, Hydraloop is in working with Arizona State University in an effort to get funding for a pilot program to get greywater recycling units in 50 or more homes.

Lubitz said that the chance to get Hydraloop into actual homes presents a serious water saving opportunity.

If we were able to put a Hydraloop in every single home [in a development] and were only able to catch one shower of greywater to treat, each home could save 10,000 gallons of potable water a year,” she stressed. “And the Hydraloop has even more capacity than that.”


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In-home water recycling system could offer sustainability solution in Arizona