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Benefits of waste water recycling

Reduced use of freshwaterWastewater can replace freshwater for some uses. This saves money and increases the effective water supply, especially in regions where irrigation is needed. Residential water use, on average, is almost evenly split between indoors and outdoors. Most water used indoors can be reused outdoors for irrigation, achieving the same result with less water diverted from nature.

Less strain on septic tanks or treatment plants — Grey water, which comprises the majority of the wastewater stream, contains vastly fewer pathogens than black water and 90% less nitrogen (a nutrient that is a problematic water pollutant). Reducing a septic system's flow by getting gray water out greatly extends its service life and capacity. For municipal treatment systems, decreased flow means higher treatment effectiveness and lower costs.

More effective purification — Wastewater is purified to a spectacularly high degree in the upper, most biologically active region of the soil. This protects the quality of natural surface and ground waters. Topsoil is a purification engine many times more powerful than engineered treatment plants or even in septic systems, which discharge wastewater deeper into the subsoil.

Feasibility for sites unsuitable for a septic tankFor sites with slow soil percolation or other problems, a wastewater system can partially or completely substitute for a costly, over-engineered septic system. (In extreme cases this can enable otherwise undevelopable lots to be built on a double-edged sword environmentally.)

Reduced use of energy and chemicalsDue to the reduced amount of freshwater and wastewater that needs pumping and treatment. If you provide your own water or electricity, you’ll benefit directly from lessening this burden. Also, processing wastewater in the soil under your fruit trees definitely encourages you to dump fewer toxins down the drain.

Groundwater recharge — Wastewater application in excess of plant needs recharges the natural store of water in the ground. Abundant groundwater keeps springs flowing and trees growing in intervals between rains.

Plant growth — Wastewater can support a flourishing landscape where irrigation water might otherwise not be available.

Reclamation of nutrientsLoss of nutrients through wastewater disposal in rivers or oceans is a subtle but highly significant form of erosion. Reclaiming otherwise wasted nutrients in wastewater helps to maintain the land’s fertility.

Increased awareness of, and sensitivity, to natural cycles The wastewater user, by having a reason to pay more attention to the annual progression of the seasons, the circulation of water between the Earth and the sky, and the needs of plants, benefits intangibly but greatly by participating directly in the wise husbandry of vital global nutrient and water cycles.

Just because — Wastewater is relatively harmless and great fun to experiment with. Moreover, life with alternative waste treatment is less expensive and more interesting…

 

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