Ways to Recycle Water


Recycling usually brings to mind cans, bottles and paper products, but recycling water is another way to benefit the environment and lower your utility bills. The water you save through various recycling efforts works well for watering houseplants and irrigating the landscaping outside your home.

Rain Barrel

A rain barrel allows you to recycle the rain water that would otherwise run off of your home and into storm sewers. The barrel rests underneath a downspout attached to your home’s gutter. You can use the water collected in the barrel to irrigate your outdoor plants, give your indoor plants a drink, and to wash your car, patio furniture or other outdoor items. Rain barrel water is not fit for human consumption because of potential contaminants.

Save Shower Water

Fill a bucket with the cold water that comes from the tap before your bath or shower water reaches your ideal temperature. If the bucket you use for collection is clean, you can use the water for cooking or filling a humidifier tank. Watering plants or washing floors around the home are other potential uses for the recycled water.


Greywater is the water used for showering, bathing, washing dishes or washing laundry. The water is used but does not contain the contamination that occurs with toilet water. You can reuse greywater without treating it if it does not contain bleach or harsh cleansers for landscape watering. Dishwater containing grease is also not suitable for irrigation. You can collect the rinse water from dish washing for irrigation.

Greywater collection systems are an option for collecting and treating greywater in the home. The systems vary, but might include disinfection or filtering to clean the greywater.

Save Drinking Water

Instead of dumping your glass of unused drinking water down the drain, recycle the water. Although the amount may be small, you can use the water for houseplants or to fill a pet’s water dish.

Flower Pot Drainage

A tray underneath your flower pots prevents excess water from running over and making a mess. The collected water doesn’t have to go to waste. Lift the pot and pour the tray into another potted plant when it needs water.



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