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Understanding Water Recycling Terminology

WEST CHICAGO, Ill. - As water concerns mount around the globe, it is expected that water recycling
and reclamation practices will become much more common in
future years. These practices are expected to greatly impact
how facilities are operated and cleaned.
Because of this, building and cleaning professionals are
wise to know more about water recycling, starting with its
The following definitions, provided by Doug Berjer
page=8> , product manager for CFR <http://www.cfrcorp.com/>
, manufacturers of recycling carpet extractors, should be a
good start:
*       Water recycling: This is the reusing of treated
wastewater for safe and beneficial purposes such as
agricultural and landscape irrigation, toilet flushing, and
industrial applications.

*       Water reuse and reclamation: These terms are
generally synonymous with water recycling, referring to
treated water that can be reused safely for other purposes.

*       Gray water: Also spelled "grey"; this is untreated
wastewater derived from residential, commercial, and
industrial facilities, typically used for landscape
irrigation. It is estimated that up to 50 percent of a
facility's water needs can be met using gray water.

*       Planned water recycling: Planned water recycling
projects are developed with the goal of reusing or recycling
water. Examples include gathering rainwater for irrigation
or employing equipment, such as carpet extractors,
engineered to recycle water during operation.

*       Unplanned water recycling: A common example of
unplanned water recycling occurs when cities draw their
water supplies from rivers that receive wastewater
discharges upstream from other cities.

*       Potable: Water approved for drinking purposes.

*       Nonpotable: Refers to water such as gray water that
is not acceptable for drinking but may be safe for plant
irrigation and other purposes.
According to Berjer, the goal of water recycling is to find
safe, alternative uses for water so that we use it most
"[Responsible water use] can have other benefits as well,"
notes Berjer. "For instance, huge amounts of energy are
required to collect, deliver, treat, and dispose of water.
Recycling water helps reduce this demand and the related
energy costs."

Contact FacilitiesNet Editorial Staff »   posted on: 12/20/2011

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