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To fight the drought, new housing experiments with ways to save water

By Denise Valenzuela

Posted in

In an affluent neighborhood north of the city, the Sea Cliff development of million-dollar custom houses appears at first glance to be yet another in a series of expensive homes sprouting across California.

But a tour of the model properties reveals a surprisingly innovative feature that is getting a lot of attention in a state grappling with the fourth year of a devastating drought: Built-in gray water recycling systems.

Gray water is the soapy water that drains from showers, bathroom sinks and washing machines. In most homes, the water flows down sewers. But the recycling system treats the water so that it can be re-used to irrigate yards and flush toilets. As a result, not one drop of potable water is used on landscaping or wasted down the drain.

“Buyers want features that will save them money and the Sea Cliff’s developer, giant builder KB Home recognizes this.

Sea Cliff is the first KB development with recycling systems in every home. This feature, along with motion-sense kitchen faucets that turn the water off as soon as you move away from the sink and barrels to capture rainwater from gutter spouts, will save homeowners some 100,000 gallons a year. The homes come equipped with state-of-the art dishwashers that save the water used in a rinse cycle for the wash cycle of the next load, making them 30 percent more water efficient.

The drought may not have slowed development in California but what it has done is inspire builders to incorporate advanced water-saving measures in new construction.

It is still a small movement but the fact that KB Home, one of the nation’s largest builders, is venturing into water-recycling systems in their homes signals a shift in construction in direct response to the drought.

These water saving technologies help with in home water use reduction and will save home buys thousandths of dollars – but remember 80% of residential water use occurs outside the home on water grass and landscaping.  Because of this many developers are utilizing synthetic turf Installation in their new home development plans as a tactic to save water outside of the home.  With the increased and rampant new home building growth the sjy is the limit for water saving technologies that can be use din and around these homes.

 

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