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Recycling grey-water is now mandatory

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Water is a precious resource which needs to be recycled. A new BMC rule for new buildings to recycle grey-water is a beginning, reports Gajanan Khergamker

Finally, sense appears to have prevailed over our city fathers who have, after making rainwater harvesting mandatory, made it a must for all new buildings to recycle grey-water and use it for non- potable purposes. After all, matching the rate of growth of Mumbai’s population – about 2.5 per cent every year – takes its toll on water sources and recycling holds the key to shortage issues.

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation has passed the by-laws and included it in the development control (DC) rule to make it compulsory for all new residential and commercial building. The BMC plans to make it mandatory for upcoming buildings have a grey-water recycling plan in place to obtain an occupation certificate.

The BMC had made rainwater harvesting compulsory for all the new buildings and if the building had not made provision is for rainwater harvesting, it would not issue an occupation certificate to such buildings. On the same lines, the civic authorities have included grey-water recycling in the DC rule. Reportedly, the rule will be applicable to all building projects where the plot size is 20,000 sq feet and above.

Incidentally, worldwide official regulations governing domestic grey-water use for landscape irrigation (diversion for reuse) is still a developing area and continues to gain wider support as the actual risks and benefits are considered and put into clearer perspective. ‘Grey-water’ is considered in some jurisdictions to be ‘sewage’ but in the US states that adopt the International Plumbing Code it can be used for sub-surface irrigation and for toilet flushing and in states that adopt the Uniform Plumbing Code it can be used in underground disposal fields that are akin to shallow sewage disposal fields.

The world is running out of water and one in every five persons has no access to safe drinking water. Considered a luxury, conversation and recycling of water is not a necessity. Grey-water recycling can help save nearly half of your annual water consumption and help save environment too.
Going Grey

Grey-water is the wastewater produced from baths, showers, washing machines and washbasins. Water from toilets, kitchen sinks is considered blackwater owing to its high organic content. Grey-water is of lesser quality than potable water but of higher quality than black water.

Water used to water plants; wash clothes and fill toilet cisterns is of the same quality as the water that runs through our taps and can be drunk. This need not be the case; in fact the waste water from our clothes washing machines is much more nutritious for plants than ordinary water.

A grey-water recycling system does it takes used water filters it and then uses the filtered grey-water for flushing the toilets and watering gardens.
The strain on the municipal authorities to provide clean water for cooking, for bathing and doing the laundry.


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