Gauteng and NW Province

What are the Environmental Benefits of Water Recycling?

In addition to providing a dependable, locally-controlled water supply, water recycling provides tremendous environmental benefits. By providing an additional source of water, water recycling can help us find ways to decrease the diversion of water from sensitive ecosystems. Other benefits include decreasing wastewater discharges and reducing and preventing pollution. Recycled water can also be used to create or enhance wetlands and riparian habitats.

Plants, wildlife, and fish depend on sufficient water flows to their habitats to live and reproduce. The lack of adequate flow, as a result of diversion for agricultural, urban, and industrial purposes, can cause deterioration of water quality and ecosystem health. People who reuse water can supplement their demands by using a reliable source of recycled water, which can free considerable amounts of water for the environment and increase flows to vital ecosystems.

In some cases, the impetus for water recycling comes not from a water supply need, but from a need to eliminate or decrease wastewater discharge to the ocean, an estuary, or a stream.

EPA Materials
Guidelines for Water Reuse
US EPA Office of Technology Transfer and Regulatory Support.
September 1992
Municipal Wastewater Reuse: Selected Readings on Water Reuse
Office of Water (WH-595)
EPA 430/09-91-002
September, 1991

Every household can recycle their own grey water. You’ve already bought the water, you might as well use it twice! Especially with South Africa’s water tariffs increases. Combine rainwater harvesting and grey water recycling and you will contribute hugely to the environment, save water.

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