Appropriate technology and adoption of water conservation practices: Case study of greywater reuse in Guelph

De Luca, Matthew
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University of Guelph

This study investigates the appropriateness of greywater reuse technologies in Canada. To design a technology to appropriately meet a user’s needs the approach must conform to existing technical, cultural, economic, environmental, and social conditions. The appropriateness of two greywater reuse systems (GWRS) were investigated according to three criteria; reliability/soundness/flexibility, affordability, and sustainability. The GWRS reduced water consumption from 9-20% of total household use, and often met required fecal coliforms concentrations at several sites. However, the study revealed that neither GWRS met all the appropriate technology criteria and significant barriers preventing greywater reuse were identified. Both GWRS produced effluent that largely did not meet current regulations, were prone to mechanical failure, and did not provide any financial benefits, resulting in a varied level of acceptance among users. In addition, the systems resulted in increased green house gas emissions. The study also concluded that the regulations governing greywater quality for toilet flushing and the technology’s robustness must be further refined.

greywater, appropriate technology