Newsletter: Arizona Allowing Composting Toilet and Greywater-Only Houses, Study of greywater in Landscape Irrigation, New Books

May 2007

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Arizona allowing composting toilet plus greywater systems

Arizona continues to lead the pack in sensible greywater regulation. Not perfect, but darn close. The Arizona composting toilet and kitchen greywater code addresses kitchen sink water, opening the door to composting toilet plus greywater ONLY houses, without those pesky septic/sewer connections..

Long-term study of greywater landscape irrigation

The Soap and Detergent Manufacturer's Association (SDA) has partnered with the Water Environment Research Foundation (WERF), the National Decentralized Water Resources Capacity Development Project, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, Los Angeles Department of Power and Water, and West Basin Municipal Water District to issue a request for proposals (RFP) for a long-term study on landscape irrigation that uses household graywater. Nearly $375,000 has been made available in funding for the research.

Proposals must be received by July 31, 2007.


The proposed study is the second phase of a collaborative effort between WERF and SDA. The first phase developed an in-depth literature review, which is one of the most definitive sources of information on graywater effects, and identified potential knowledge gaps for study in phase two.

The SDA/WERF report (pdf), issued in 2006, revealed that a number of constituents in typical graywater are known to be potentially harmful to plants singly or in combination with other chemicals in the graywater. But it remains to be documented whether or not these constituents will accumulate in the soil in sufficient quantities to harm plants or perhaps be transported below the root zone, possibly to the groundwater, during the rainy season.

A 1998 report prepared for SDA noted that graywater is reused as a means to conserve potable water and to reduce demands on wastewater treatment.

States in the Southwest have attempted to regulate graywater reuse in the absence of definitive environmental safety data. The aim of the SDA/WERF study is to provide decision- makers, water agencies, regulators, product manufacturers and consumers with scientifically sound information to help ensure the safety of household graywater reuse for landscape irrigation.

New books available for sale

We're pleased to announce that we are now offering some excellent books from other publishers for sale through our website.

Upcoming programs

Art will be teaching Ecological Systems Design, Understanding Water, Water and Wastewater System Design, Personal Finance, and Massage at the Cob Cottage apprenticeship program in Coquille, OR the last week of June, 2007.

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