Green plumbing: is it worth the cost?

Los Angeles has always been quick to establish and adopt new trends. The so-called Green Movement has especially caught on in our Southern California city. Many residents have incorporated energy and water efficiency into their daily lives for decades, but the trend really took off within the past 10 years. When it comes to plumbing, many of us now use low-flow fixtures in our toilets and showers to conserve the little water we have. These are relatively cheap and easy to install, but what about the bigger efforts to save and re-use water? Are they affordable, and more importantly, will they catch on?

Consider these large-scale systems that attempt to improve water efficiency:

Water Sense. In this program, valves are installed near the home’s water meter in order to lessen the water pressure flowing into the house. It’s most commonly used in the construction of new homes.

Greywater. This system uses dual-pipe technology to get more mileage out of the home’s water, re-using it for other purposes, like watering your lawn.

These developments are great ideas, but their implications complicate the issue.

High cost

As beneficial as big-scale conservation efforts might be, you can’t escape their cost. Typically, most greywater systems start at a couple thousand dollars for installation and parts – and that’s for basic packages on a simple lot. More affluent neighborhoods like Beverly Hills or Malibu may be able to afford these technologies in new home development (or to retrofit older houses – an even more expensive proposition), but critics argue green plumbing won’t truly work until it’s available to the city’s middle class in areas like Hollywood and Downtown.

No matter what neighborhood you live in, if you want to simply and affordably make your water use more efficient, call the best plumber Los Angeles has to offer. Ritz Plumbing will make sure your fixtures are saving water – and money.

Additional liability for plumbers

While the federal government has taken strides to make codes for greywater installation, they’re still lagging behind on standardized training. One plumber may have a completely different method of instruction than another, and omit critical information, leaving his apprentices scratching their heads. Additionally, what if the system doesn’t deliver on its promise? In other words, if the government guarantees greywater will save up to 30%, and after a year, the homeowner reports only a 10% savings on his utility bill, who is to blame? Often, contractors work with engineers and even architects to design the perfect system. Each one of them has put their reputation on the line, so who ultimately takes responsibility?

Enough demand?

Fortunately, the country seems to be pulling out of the recession. Check almost any report, and you’ll see that home sales are rising. This is great news for green technologies, as it means more people are able to afford them for their homes – theoretically. But the truth is they still haven’t quite caught fire. A slow adoption may mean that people still just aren’t aware of their existence. Or it could mean that they’re not convinced that they’re worth it. Only time will tell.

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