While opinions on the causes are diverse and divisive, there is little doubt that climate irregularity has left drought-ridden communities all over the U.S. high and dry. Because the private water industry’s response has been to mobilize for a hike in water fees, many homeowners are seeking ways to substantially rework their water conservation and usage. In its latest partnership with Australia’s Nexus eWater firm, KB Home is the first volume builder to create substantial solutions to this problem.
Beyond merely conserving water with better fixtures and ENERGY STAR appliances, these new homes will recycle 2/3 of the water that they use. The Nexus system will draw in a home’s soapy water from the shower, sink, dishwasher, and laundry into a deep-cleaning system. The filtered gray water then exits the system to be used for flushing the toilet and irrigating lawns and gardens.
Although it isn’t suitable for drinking or washing, the gray water will take an enormous chunk out of a home’s water usage and utility bills. The system is easy to maintain and can be accessed through two circular manhole-like covers on the home’s exterior.
Ralph Petroff, chairman of Nexus eWater, says of their partnership with KB Home that “in five years‘ time, every new home will have a water recycler in it.” The cost to install the Nexus eWater system is just under $10,000 per home, and the prices are expected to decrease as more builders buy in and include the technology in their residential projects.
Petroff even thinks that the system will have a greater impact than solar panels, because “there is no alternative to water. That’s what Californians are discovering every day.”
KB Home, based in California, bought into the technology a while back and has recently announced that it will be a standard feature of 50 homes in a new San Diego development that is currently under construction. KB Home plans to demonstrate the system as a major feature in the model homes it is building in Sacramento and Lancaster.