In Rancho Penasquitos, KB Homes is experimenting with new model homes that have comprehensive graywater systems already installed.
“We take residential water efficiency to a whole new level," said Heather McPherson of Nexus eWater, a company that has developed a nationally permitted water treatment system. "Two out of three gallons used in the home can get a new life by being recycled.”
“This is a 75-gallon collector that the graywater from your washing machines, bath tubs and sinks comes into,” McPherson said, standing over a tank sunk into the front yard of the model home. “That water is collected and sent to the Nex treater.“
The Nex treater is a unit on the side of the house that puts the water through five filter systems before sending it back to a drip system that irrigates drought tolerant landscaping.
McPherson said it would cost about $15,000 to retrofit an existing home. To build it into a new homes cost about $10,000, she said.
Steve Ruffner, president of KB Homes’ Southern California Region, said that’s worth it to customers who don’t want to risk losing their investment in landscaping during the drought.
“These customers, our pitch to them is, ‘you’ll never have to stress about that because you’re not using any potable water to water your landscaping - your landscaping is not going to die in a drought,’” Ruffner said.
This is the first development where every house comes standard with a graywater system, according to Ruffner.
“I think in the next 12 months we’re going to have this down,” he said. “So we can roll it out very similar to what we did with solar.“