Looking to an increasing demand on water resources in the Lone Star State, Texas A&M AgriLife researchers are working to determine the feasibility of using gray water for landscapes.
Gray water is essentially soapy water that is left after tap water has gone through a washing machine, bath tub, bathroom sink or shower. It likely does not contain serious contaminants whereas black water, which comes from toilets and the kitchen sinks, most likely does contain contaminants that could be harmful to Texas plants.
Horticulturalists say utilizing gray water for household landscaping could help Texans reduce their water usage by up to 50 percent depending upon the type of landscaping, location and other factors.
While researching the potential of gray water for landscaping, scientists will have to look at the salt content of the water that is the result of detergents and soaps used in sinks and washing machines.
Researchers will also evaluate the plumbing and delivery technology that is needed to retrofit a household to utilize gray water on landscaping.
Officials say research could take from nine months to a year.