Imagine a home that could recycle two-thirds of the water it uses. No need to imagine. New technology to do just that was recently approved for use in drought-parched California, and the company behind it claims it could be looking at a $15 billion business ahead.
"In five years time, every new home will have a water recycler in it," said Ralph Petroff, chairman of Nexus eWater, the Australia-based company behind the technology.
The system, which lives under two manhole-like covers on the side of the home, pulls in soapy water from the house—that is shower, dishwasher, laundry and sink water, not toilet water—and then sends it into a cleaning system. What comes out, so-called "gray water," is water that can be used for irrigation and for flushing toilets. The water cannot be used for washing or drinking.
California-based KB Home bought into the technology and just announced that it will be standard in over 50 homes in a new San Diego development. It is also demonstrating the system in model homes in Sacramento and Lancaster.
The cost is just under $10,000 per home to install, but Petroff said that price should go down as more builders buy in and the technology becomes more common. He sees it as having even more potential than solar panels.