For many, water scarcity is a fact of life. In fact, 51% of the United States was in drought as of March 2022. The Southwest is facing a particularly severe drought which began in 2000 and has continued ever since.  A recent study noted that the megadrought in the western United States is the driest 20 year period in at least the last 1,200 years. 

With water resources low in half of the country and climate change continuing to warm the planet, water conservation is more important than ever. Finding ways to use – and reuse – water responsibly in both residential and commercial contexts will help us continue to have access to clean drinking water for years to come. 

One way to responsibly reuse water which is growing in popularity is through greywater systems. Greywater systems take water that was already used once in a home or business and uses it for a second time in the surrounding landscape as irrigation water. It’s important to note that greywater comes from sinks, showers, and washing machines, not toilets. Instead of immediately routing greywater for sewage treatment, it is routed to the landscape, where it is filtered through mediums like wood chips to then provide water to plants. This allows for reuse of a vastly underutilized resource – greywater. 

Photo Credit: Steve Sanford in Greywater, Green Landscape by Laura Allen

There are a growing number of jurisdictions that require greywater in new construction, such as Los Angeles and Tucson. That number is expected to increase as droughts continue and water supplies dwindle.

In HeatSpring’s new free course, Introduction to Greywater, students will learn the basics of greywater systems, including five steps for successful greywater system design. This course is excellent for those who are wondering if greywater is right for them, either within their own homes or as an additional service area for their business. For folks ready to design, permit, and build their own custom greywater system, HeatSpring will be launching an Advanced Greywater Design course August 2022. 

Both greywater courses are taught by greywater expert, Laura Allen. Laura is the co-founder of Greywater Action and has spent the past 20 years exploring home-scale ecological water solutions. She authored The Water-Wise Home: How to Conserve and Reuse Water in Your Home and Landscape, and Greywater, Green Landscape. She has a BA in environmental science, a teaching credential, and a master’s degree in education. Laura works on water reuse policies and code development in the west and is a technical advisory member for the International Association of Mechanical and Plumbing Officials’ (IAPMO) Water Efficiency Standard (We-STAND). Laura leads classes and workshops on rainwater harvesting, greywater reuse, and composting toilets.

Ready to learn more about implementing greywater systems in your home or as a part of your business? Sign up for HeatSpring’s free Introduction to Greywater course today!