08 May Onsite Water Treatment
Water usage and re-usage is a crucial component of the Desert Rain House, as well as being a key factor in the home meeting the Living Building Challenge (green certification). This home is incredibly unique, not just in Bend, Oregon, but also in any urban area in the United States. Desert Rain will collect and treat all of the water onsite, including grey and black water.
Treating and Using Grey Water Onsite
1. All of the home’s grey water (water from sinks, showers, tubs, and washing machines, often containing traces of dirt, food, grease, hair, and certain household cleaning products) will be carried to the constructed wetland.
2. The constructed wetland include a basin of gravel an eventually native plants. As the wastewater flows through this basin, the gravel, plants, and naturally occurring bacteria, break down pollutants and cleanse the wastewater.
3. Beneath the constructed wetland, a gravity-fed collection system moves the water into a 1000 gal tank to store for use in sub-surface irrigation. An addition 5000 gal tank is also available for storage and is connected to standard irrigation valves.
Treating and Using Black Water Onsite
1. All of the home’s black water (waste water from toilets and dishwasher) will be carried from vacuum toilets to a vacuum accumulator
2. From the vacuum accumulator, the black water will move into the composter, which will be housed in Desert Lookout, an additional building currently under construction on the property.