Gray Water Gets a Lift: National Standard for Water Reuse Announced

NSF International announced the nation’s first national standard on water reuse, designed to improve awareness and acceptance of gray water and other reuse technologies.

For decades, advocates have been promoting gray water recycling as an important way to preserve precious water sources – why use pure water to flush your toilet?

It’s taken a long time to catch on, but with rising energy costs and increasing concerns about water scarcity, it’s time has come.

The national standard, NSF/ANSI 350, applies to commercial and residential onsite water reuse treatment systems. 

Since 84% of water used is not used for drinking, but for non-potable uses like lawn irrigation and toilet flushing, most of the water can be reused. Once wastewater from dishwashing and laundry is treated, it can be used to flush toilets and irrigate outdoor landscapes.

NSF develops criteria to make sure environmental products do what they say they do. This standard will ensure that water reuse technologies are constructed to properly treat graywater (i.e. wastewater generated from non-potable sources, ie. laundry and bathing) and combined wastewater (i.e. all sources of wastewater generated within a residence or building) for reuse in non-potable applications.

It establishes materials, design and construction, and performance requirements for onsite residential and commercial water reuse treatment systems and sets water quality requirements for the reduction of chemical and microbiological contaminants for non-potable water use.

NSF certification will satisfy requirements for LEED green building certification and the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) National Green Building Certification program. 

"Certification to NSF/ANSI 350 positions onsite water reuse technologies as a viable solution to increasingly overburdened water and wastewater treatment facilities, water scarcity, and increasing costs associated with energy and water use," says Tom Bruursema, General Manager of NSF Sustainability. "Innovative clean technology manufacturers can now demonstrate the acceptability and effectiveness of their products, helping these technologies to be adopted more quickly into the marketplace."

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