American Society of Civil Engineers


Economic and Environmental Analysis of Residential Greywater Systems for Toilet Use


by Scott Glick, (Assistant Professor, Department of Construction Management, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523-1584; E-mail: sglick@cahs.ColoState.edu), Angela Acree Guggemos, A.M.ASCE, (Assistant Professor, Department of Construction Management, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523-1584; E-mail: Angela.Guggemos@ColoState.edu), and Santosh Prakash, (Graduate student, Department of Construction Management, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523-1584)

pp. 655-664, (doi:  http://dx.doi.org/10.1061/41020(339)67)

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Document type: Conference Proceeding Paper
Part of: Construction Research Congress 2009: Building a Sustainable Future
Abstract: The use of greywater for residential toilet flushing could decrease freshwater demand considerably if adopted nationally. Before this is done, a full understanding of the estimated environmental and economic impacts for greywater systems is needed. New and retrofit residential systems were studied using life-cycle assessment (LCA) and life-cycle cost (LCC). Health considerations were not evaluated as part of this study. The LCA results indicate that both systems have a net environmental benefit over their lifetimes. Based upon current potable water costs, the net present value of the LCC indicates that both systems have net costs. As water rates increase to reflect scarcity, these net costs should decrease or become net savings. Using grey water systems for toilet flushing is environmentally feasible for individual homes whether new or retrofitted. Implementing these systems on a larger scale would reduce the demands on potable water supplies and on sewage treatment facilities and may improve their economic feasibility.


ASCE Subject Headings:
Economic factors
Environmental issues
Residential buildings