SAN DIEGO – In an affluent neighborhood north of the city, the Sea Cliff development of million-dollar custom houses appears at first glance to be yet another in a series of expensive homes sprouting across California.
But a tour of the model properties reveals a surprisingly innovative feature that is getting a lot of attention in a state grappling with the fourth year of a devastating drought: Built-in gray water recycling systems.
Gray water is the soapy water that drains from showers, bathroom sinks and washing machines. In most homes, the water flows down sewers. But the recycling system treats the water so that it can be re-used to irrigate yards and flush toilets. As a result, not one drop of potable water is used on landscaping or wasted down the drain.
“Buyers want features that will save them money,” said Craig LeMessurier, senior director of corporate communications for Sea Cliff’s developer, giant builder KB Home.
Sea Cliff is the first KB development with recycling systems in every home. This feature, along with motion-sense kitchen faucets that turn the water off as soon as you move away from the sink and barrels to capture rainwater from gutter spouts, will save homeowners some 100,000 gallons a year. The homes come equipped with state-of-the art dishwashers that save the water used in a rinse cycle for the wash cycle of the next load, making them 30 percent more water efficient.
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