City of Guelph Residential Grey water Reuse Feasibility Study
To find further ways to conserve its finite groundwater resources, the City of Guelph studied a residential greywater reuse system that flushes residential toilets with water from showers and baths.
In the field test, 25 homeowners installed grey water recycling systems. Water quality, water consumption and energy usage were monitored for up to two years. While the overall satisfaction with the systems was high, many homeowners did not like cleaning the filters and grey water quality did not always meet Health Canada standards.
Flushing toilets with grey water can reduce household water use by up to 30 percent. But with decades-long payback periods, these systems are not financially attractive to homeowners. Ironically, the presence of water-efficient fixtures in the home further reduces the savings possible from grey water systems.
The city is working to improve residential grey water reuse technologies and encouraging industry to continue to adopt water reuse technologies.
- Water savings were difficult to calculate, because some households did not produce enough grey water for toilet flushing and had to use varying amounts of potable water.
- This dilution of the grey water by potable water affected samples.
- Homeowners must be committed to the regular maintenance of the system.
- Some homeowners find the colour and smell of grey water displeasing.
- Provide more training on the use and maintenance of the system to field test participants.
- Develop a support network through education of tradespeople and contractors.
- Provide rebates and other incentives to get residents to invest in these systems.
Partners and Collaborators
- City of Guelph
- FCM's Green Municipal Fund
- Fusion Homes
- Reid's Heritage Homes
- Evolve Builder's Group
- University of Guelph School of Engineering
Water Conservation Project Manager
City of Guelph, ON
T. 519-822-1260, ext. 2106
Want to explore all GMF-funded projects? Check out the Projects Database for a complete overview of funded projects and get inspired by municipalities of all sizes, across Canada.