Graywater Collection Systems Require Professional Installation
If you're thinking of installing a graywater (or greywater) collection system, do not do this yourself. Get a plumber who specializes in installing the systems. This is because the codes governing what is legal and illegal in these systems can change from state to state, and you want to be sure that your system has the necessary permits and filters to operate legally. There is a big difference between just harvesting water you've used and actually installing a permanent system, and you can't assume that you can just install what you want. But if you have a plumber do it who has installed many systems in your area, you'll end up with a convenient way to save water and lower your water bills.
Reuse of Water
Graywater is used water that doesn't have potential human or animal waste in it. So water from your shower would be graywater, but water from your washing machine might not be if you're washing soiled undergarments, for example. Some people use a very low-tech system of manually collecting the water and using it to water plants or take care of something in the house; for example, collecting rinse water—not from the initial wash, but from the cleaner rinse cycle—from the laundry drainage pipes and reusing that as initial wash water for another load.
But you can have automatic collection systems installed in your home alongside the normal plumbing. These take a lot of the work away from you, making it much easier to use graywater. But these systems collect a lot more water than manual collection does, and the plumbing system required is generally considered a parallel system—it's like installing new plumbing in your home. Larger systems also use pumps, which often require permits, depending on the city.
If you try to install a system yourself, you'll have to be sure it conforms to either the Uniform Plumbing Code or the International Plumbing Code, whichever applies to your state. If you have an HOA to deal with, too, the professional plumber is going to do a better job of explaining the system when you apply for HOA permission to install the system.
You also have to be sure the system is collecting the right type of water. If you regularly wash dirty diapers in your laundry, you cannot have that water added to your graywater system because of the human waste involved. A local plumber will know exactly which fixtures should be connected to the system.
Contact a plumber (such as one from Quality Plumbing Inc) today if you want to get started on installing a graywater collection system. With drought hitting so much of the country, any way to save water is good.