Emergence of grey water recycling industry brings standardisation

The first document setting out standards for 'grey water' recycling has been published, just as house-building firms are exploring the potential of recycled water systems for new developments.

“Things are changing very quickly in this area and we will be publishing a second edition before the end of the year,” Simon Warburton of the Water Regulations Advisory Scheme (WRAS) told edie.

The impetus to publish this first draft of Reclaimed Water Systems: Information about installing, modifying or maintaining reclaimed water systems came from the UK water industry. “The water industry has had a lot of enquiries on this issue,” says Warburton. “There are a lot of ‘new build’ developments that are looking at recycled water systems. It’s not really cost effective to retro-fit existing homes, but it could be cost effective for small hotels and the like,” says Warburton.

The second edition of WRAS’ guidance note will take into consideration the work that the Construction Industry Research and Information Association (CIRIA) is currently undertaking on this issue. “There are big companies considering reclaimed water systems and there are pilots going on,” says Warburton.

CIRIA’s “Buildings that Save Water” project has been investigating grey water recycling and is due to report in the autumn. Thus far, CIRIA has identified a lack of system reliability and a lack of clarity regarding who is in charge of installing and maintaining recycling systems as challenges to the future prospects of this “emerging market”. CIRIA is organising a conference on Managing Water Sustainability in the Built Environment in July.

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