I live in a city that is going to ration water so i want to be nearly independent with my water and only needs to add more water on the system eventually. The water i get from the grid is already potable i belive but there is no harm in a system capable of getting the water potable before the use.

So i need an system that can :

  1. It can treat all the sewage my house generate and make it usable again for non-potable needs and potable needs.

  2. It can store that water for later use.

I tried to google it and i found some systems but they only get an maximum 30% of efficiency and only generate non potable water thats is not enough for me i expect someone can point me on what i really are looking for.

I do understand that i do not need to treat all water to be potable so i can have one system that treat water for non-potable needs and another for potable needs (like drink , cook and etc)

  • 1
    You are contemplating building your own personal sewage treatment system, but without the professional treatment and testing that comes with a utility run wastewater plant. Treating waste water for eating/drinking sounds expensive and potentially dangerous if a flaw in your setup allows hazardous microbes into your drinking water. I'd focus on treating gray-water (bathwater, dishwater, laundry water, etc) for re-use either for additional gray-water usages or for flushing toilet, then using utility water for consumption (which is usually a very small part of typical household water usage)
    – Johnny
    Jan 26, 2015 at 23:42
  • I was thinking on building the sewage treatment first and then test the water it generates and then i will know what i will need to treat to drinking/eating would that work? I don't think that sewage from home are that much toxic ? I mean why gray-water can't easily become potable?
    – Freedo
    Jan 27, 2015 at 5:30
  • 1
    You really need to do regular testing to ensure that your system is safe, you don't want to find out that a crack developed in a filter several days ago and it's been letting raw sewage seep into your water supply. Most household sewage is not particularly toxic (though drinking laundry or dishwasher soap can't be good for you), but even your own fecal bacteria can make you sick, even worse, if it's from a guest of unknown health, there are many serious diseases (like hepatitis) that spread through fecal contamination.
    – Johnny
    Jan 27, 2015 at 7:47

1 Answer 1


You are working at the wrong end of the economies of scale, and you will run into serious permit, zoning, and financial issues. A better tack to take is to figure out ways to reduce your water use.

  1. Get/build a composting toilet. This eliminates roughly 1/2 your domestic water use. For the males, have a urinal that connects directly to waste line. Composting toilets can have issues with too much pee.

  2. Create a grey water system. Showers and sinks go to a tank. Taht water can be used to wash clothes. That water is dumped to a tank. That water can be used in the garden, and for flushing the urinal, water for washing floors and the car.

  3. Collect your rain water. Run this through a simple demand type UV sterilizer for one sink in the house. This is where you get your drinking water. Another branch of this circuit is your bath water. It is not as critical about being sterile? (Would you swim in a rain filled pond?)

Do not run the kitchen sink or the dishwasher to the greywater system. It has too much crud. You may need to choose bath soap with care. (bath oil residue may cling to clothes)

Even this system is non-trivial. You have to have ways to deal with both surpluses and shortages at any point in the system.

  • Xeriscape. Replace all ornamentals in your yard with plants that do not require supplemental water in your climate. (In parts of Arizona this means you grow rocks and cactus)

  • Install navy style shower controls: Punch the button once. You get 30 seconds of water to get wet. Soap up. Punch again, you have 30 seconds of water to rinse. If you have teens in your house they will hate you.

  • Make cleaning your plate with a piece of bread a family tradition. A clean plate may not need washing but may be sanitized directly with a UV lamp.

  • Use UV lamps with appropriate eye protection instead of hand washing unless there is actual dirt on hands.

  • Take fewer baths. Bathe at work. Tell the kids to do a good job in the PE showers because there is no hot water at home on school days. (Your spouse may have a differing point of view about this.)

  • Never wash the car, but do park it on the driveway on rainy days.

  • If it rains hard, call the kids and hand each one a towel and a bar of soap and send them into the back yard.

  • Install a solar heated hot tub. This can win you back some of the points you lost with the navy shower. Clean off before hot tubbing. The hot tub is equipped with a cover replaced after use to reduce evaporation.

If you have room look into using a biofilter. The first stage is a bacteria culture growing on gravel in a tank. This eats most of the solids. The second stage is whatever the brazilian equivalent of a catail bog. This will use up nitrates, phosphates. You will get evaporation loss from this pool, but, you may be able to make that up with rainfall.

  • Thanks for the input but the main reason i'm willing to do so much efforth is because i want to keep and preserve my lifestyle not live in a always shortage of water that's do not mean i won't economize of course but i'll do it thinking on increase my efficiency (i.e preserve my lifestyle while using less resources) but that are good tips..
    – Freedo
    Feb 3, 2015 at 14:50
  • All of these, or most of them anyway, are things you will want to do to decrease the load on whatever system you have. Feb 3, 2015 at 14:54
  • Yes i do have an quite big yard but the plants don't require constant irrigation they're fine just with the occasional rains , my house is quite big and the domestics use quite alot of water to wash my terrain so im thinking about bulding sinks connected to an tank too to reuse that water too i do have an jacuzzi and sauna too that i think that consumes alot of water too must do something to them too...and a pool (28.000 liters) it is possible to turn the pool in a useful manner? Like a reservatory or something like that ( thats ideia is from my teens sounded crazy in the start but who knows)
    – Freedo
    Feb 3, 2015 at 15:05
  • My shower and ovens are electric and pool is heated by solar panels already...i live it Brazil and we are just running out of water because the government is stupid and was counting on never get to this point...and my cloths are washed on washing machines
    – Freedo
    Feb 3, 2015 at 15:12
  • @SherwoodBotsford +1 for If you have teens in your house they will hate you. made me laugh.
    – Danger14
    Feb 9, 2015 at 4:18

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