2019 Honor Awards - Gray Water System

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Grey Water System: A Design Guideline to Provide an Alternative Irrigation Resource in Idaho

The Land Group

In the Intermountain West, and Idaho in particular, many private and commercial landscapes use potable water for landscape irrigation. As the state’s population growth has accelerated there has been increased demand on our water supply for landscape irrigation, agriculture, industrial processes, and consumption. The potable and fresh water of the State of Idaho is a finite resource and we must balance the demands on this resource in a thoughtful manner.

One approach to this balancing act is to reduce the demand of landscape irrigation through grey water reuse. The purpose of this Design Guideline is to provide information and proposed design alternatives for the use of grey water for future landscape projects in Idaho.

This approach will help ensure that our agricultural, industrial, and human consumption needs can be met for many years to come.

Project Narrative

This project is intended to educate and to promote the conservation of water in Idaho through reuse. The Design Guideline is a product of a combined effort in research and design.

The research has two steps, first being to review grey water reuse on a broad scale. This is to help the reader establish a comprehensive understanding of the issue, its impact, current practices, and successful case studies. The second step focuses on the specific requirements and challenges of implementing grey water systems in Idaho. Readers will obtain knowledge of Idaho’s grey water policy, the various approaches to reuse and reuse systems available and how to calculate the demand for the system’s capacity. The Design Guideline also features a local pioneering grey water reuse project – Boise State University’s Honors College, to examine the effectiveness of this new system. This specific project provides detailed lessons on the implementation of a grey water system with landscape irrigation as the intended use. The guideline further evaluates the effectiveness and probable cost of using grey water as an alternative resource for irrigation in Idaho.

This Design Guideline illustrates the system’s key information and implementation components with info graphics which ensures the information is easily understood and adopted by design professionals as well as an intriguing education tool for the public.