If you manage a factory or commercial building and are planning to revamp the plumbing system, add a non-potable water supply to the building in order to conserve drinking water and save money. When you use water, the resulting waste water has to go somewhere. In some cases you do want the water to leave the property and head to sewage treatment plants, but in many other cases, that used water can be reused, reducing the amount of drinking water you have to pull in from your city's system. Here's a look at what you can use the water for and where you can get it from.
Evaluate All Water Use
Take a look at all of the water that goes in and out of your property. You'll find that much of it goes to purposes that don't require that the water be particularly clean, like watering trees around a courtyard. You can use water that isn't suitable for drinking to water those trees as well as ornamental shrubs. You can also use the water for things like flushing toilets. However, note that the water going to sink faucets should be drinkable because that water touches people's hands, and people often get cups of water from bathroom faucets or brush their teeth in there after lunch.
There are two main types of nonpotable water that you want to look at potentially capturing:
Capturing rainwater from building downspouts doesn't increase your water bill, and in a downpour you can capture quite a lot. As you plan the new plumbing systems for the buildings on your property, add rain barrels to downspouts that you can't connect into a larger water-collection tank. Because a full rain barrel can be heavy, speak to your property maintenance crews about using that water for nearby landscaping.
Greywater requires special capture systems that attach to drains, sending the water into collection tanks. The tanks and any faucets out of which comes the greywater need to be labeled as nondrinkable. A suitable source of greywater, for example, is the office kitchen sink. The water that goes down the drain as people wash out coffee cups and so on isn't exactly drinkable, but it's fine for use on the grassy medians in the parking lot.
Note that greywater is not the same as blackwater, which is essentially untreated sewage. It is possible to capture blackwater and use it, but it must be treated very carefully. Special care must be taken to ensure it doesn't come in contact with people.
If you're interested in setting up a nonpotable water supply, talk to industrial plumbers, such as Cool Air Mechanical, Inc. They can help you map out every potential source of greywater and rainwater and figure out the best ways to capture the liquid.