More American Households Are Open To Using Recycled Water At Home: Whirlpool Survey

(3BL Media/Justmeans) –The vast majority of American homeowners now view water conservation as a high priority, while 77 percent believe it is safe and beneficial to reuse water within the home, according to a survey released by Whirlpool Corporation, the appliance manufacturer. A random sample of more than 1,200 homeowners were surveyed to determine their water and energy efficiency preferences. Water recycling, also known as reuse or reclamation, is not new, and non-potable (not for drinking) water recycling systems have been in place for decades. 74 percent of respondents for the Whirlpool survey agree that it’s safe to reuse household water from sinks or showers for flushing toilets or outdoor irrigation; 58 percent would reuse water from sinks or showers to reduce their household water consumption by half.

In arid states, including Texas and Nevada, and in rainy states, such as Florida and Virginia, the municipal wastewater is collected and treated to an extent that doesn’t meet drinking water standards, but is approved for certain uses that don’t involve human contact, such as agriculture, landscaping and golf course irrigation. California is known for surf, sun and film, and now, for water sustainability, due to prolonged drought conditions. Its municipal wastewater is being treated, disinfected and reused near its source for a variety of purposes, from wetlands restoration to irrigation — and drinking.

The Whirlpool survey highlighted some important findings. Nearly all respondents (94 percent) said reducing household energy consumption is at the top of their mind. Nine out of 10 people say they’d like to be better about conserving water and energy. More than eight in 10 homeowners said reducing water use in their home and making their home more sustainable is important to them, while also admitting they would like to be better about conserving water and energy. Nearly all agreed they would like to have home appliances that are both efficient and affordable. Interestingly, homeowners most interested in water efficiency are 35 years old or younger with a college degree and children.

Municipalities in the States are figuring out more ways to treat sewage less like waste and more like a resource. In addition to watering golf greens, recycled water is being used for street cleaning, fire-fighting, geothermal energy production, preventing seawater intrusion into freshwater aquifers, industrial processing, commercial laundering, restoring natural wetlands and creating constructed wetlands. Reusing water is a vital component of water conservation. Water reuse can reduce the amount of freshwater diverted from sensitive ecosystems, as well as the amount of wastewater and the pollution it carries discharged to waterways.

However, probably the biggest hurdle to water reuse is about gaining public acceptance. When people hear about “toilet to tap” technology, they get nervous. What this Whirlpool survey shows that there is now a positive shift in attitude and an acceptance that we all now need to rethink our relationship with water and how we are using it.

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