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What is Green Plumbing

How Easy is it to Adopt Green Plumbing? In these more environmentally aware times, many of us want to do our part and lead greener lives. In California, there has always been the desire to be on the cutting edge when adopting new trends. For several decades the state has been keen to promote both energy and water efficiency. This has been particularly noticeable in the last decade, for example, many of us now use low flow fixtures to conserve our water. The solutions for the showers and toilets in our homes are pretty easy to install and relatively cheap. This is all well and good, but what about the larger efforts that could be made to make the best use of our water. Are these green plumbing solutions affordable and will they ever be adopted by the masses? What is Water Sense? When one is researching larger scale water conservation system for homes, the term “Water Sense” will be encountered. In case you are unaware, Water Sense is a program that involves installing valves near the water meter in your home. The goal is to lower the water pressure in your home thus reducing water usage and lowering your water bill. This is a fairly common practice in many new home builds across the state, but it is also possible to install this system on an existing home water supply. Understanding Greywater: Greywater is the waste water in your home that doesn’t contain any sewage waste. This water is unfit for human consumption as it may contain a small amount of detergent, but it is perfectly acceptable for other uses, such as: watering the lawn and flushing toilets. A greywater system uses dual pipe technology to reuse water that would otherwise be wasted. The Financial Implications: As one would expect, these larger scale water conservation solutions have a significant price tag. As an example: one could expect to pay at least a couple of thousand dollars to have a greywater system installed. This may be well within the budget for some people with an existing property that they wish to retrofit with greener plumbing. A new home buyer may have this system already installed, but the cost would be applied to the final house price. Installing this kind of system in an older house can be more expensive, and critics have called attention to the fact that green plumbing won’t catch on unless it becomes more widely adopted by the middle class. Standardized Training for Plumbers: The federal government is playing catch up in this area, but there has been some progress. New codes are in effect for greywater installation, but standardized training is still a problem. The government is keen to point out that homeowners can save up to 30% on their water bill with these systems installed. This all sounds great, but if the plumber has not received the correct training this figure could drop to only a 10% saving. Of course, this is still significant, but it isn’t the saving advertised, and it will affect other homeowners decisions. If you are considering green plumbing, always ensure that your plumbing contractor is familiar with the new federal codes and the correct way to carry out an installation. By Giovanni Longo President Flood Brothers Plumbing Giovanni Longo is a 3rd generation master plumber who has been practicing his craft and trade in the greater Los Angeles area for well over a decade and a half. A plumbing and hydraulics-engineering innovator, Giovanni’s particular world-class expertise focuses on dealing with challenging sewer system designs as well as resolving complex commercial and residential draining issues. As a certified Flood Mitigation expert, he is also well versed in a wide variety of water damage and remediation solutions.