CMHC Calls For Action On Reclaimed Water Initiatives

Reclaimed Water

What would you think if your tap water came recycled straight from the sewer?  It’s not such a far-fetched concept to the CMHC, or Canadian Mortgage And Housing Corporation, which has been taking on reclaimed water projects and initiatives in Canada’s provinces for years now.

What exactly is water reuse or Reclaimed Water

Water reuse is the process of treating wastewater to make it suitable for non-potable water functions such as flushing, outdoor washing, and landscape irrigation.  Its purpose is to reduce water consumption within homes and prepare for future water emergencies.

There are many Canadian municipalities that have been successful in reducing costs of wastewater management through the CMHC.  In its research article, Innovative Residential Water And Wastewater Management, the CMHC notes:

A combination of several approaches was used to achieve many of the objectives outlined by each municipality. Among these initiatives were:

  • New residential metering
  • Industrial and residential water audits
  • Low-flow fixture retrofit
  • Public awareness
  • Regulation of outdoor water use
  • Computer database for program planning
  • Infrastructure improvements

While the research sheds promising light on the processes needed to implement water reuse in an area, technology innovations are needed to enact such a change.  For example, the CMHC gives guidelines and accommodations that would need to be taken into account for reclaiming water.

Using wastewater in individual buildings must be approached with caution.  This wastewater could be used for industrial applications such as fire protection, toilet flushing, and urban irrigation.  Dual distribution systems could be something to consider as a solution to this.

The public relations aspect of such a project have to be considered as well.  Water testing and safety measures would have to be enacted and shared with the public so that the project has an open flow of information available.

The economy of such a project would need to be figured out before the program could run.  This includes cost benefit analyses, financing options, and pricing structures.

Legislation about wastewater recycling must also be considered.  Regulations and criteria from the government will be key in implementing these programs.

To have a long-term system in place, management will be required.  Technology, workers, and regulatory guidelines will be involved to maintain a project such as this.

For any reclaimed water projects to truly take off, skilled individuals will be needed to design, plan, and manage the entire system.  Each new technology, regulation, or innovation must be considered meticulously in order for any plans of water reuse to come to fruition.

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