The Ultimate Gray Water Quiz

Staff

How many gallons of water does the typical American household use per day?

According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the typical American household uses an average of 400 gallons (1,514 liters) of water per day.

Many state governments in the United States have issued bans on:

Especially in the southeastern and western United States, state governments have issued bans on outdoor watering. Residents are expected to cut their water use by as much as 20 percent.

According to Water -- Use It Wisely, running your _____ only when full can cut down considerably on water use.

According to Water -- Use It Wisely, running your dishwasher and washing machine only when full can cut down on water use by as much as 1,000 gallons (3,785 liters) per month.

Gray water is _____ that drains out of your washing machine, sinks or shower.

Gray water is wastewater that drains out of your washing machine, sinks or shower. It can be recycled and reused.

In the United States, water consumption increased by _____ percent between 1960 and 1990.

According to a University of Georgia study, in the United States the population increased by 52 percent from 1960 to 1990; water consumption increased 300 percent during the same period.

The wastewater that leaves your toilet is called:

The wastewater that leaves your toilet containing fecal matter and urine is called black water.

The best use for gray water is:

According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), in 2007, irrigation water constituted 15 percent of the total fresh water consumption in the United States. Gray water is suited to irrigation because it contains substances that are good for plants.

Which cleaning agents in laundry detergents are actually good for your soil?

Though phosphorus and nitrogen, two substances found in laundry detergents, are good for your soil, other ingredients may not be. The softening agent, sodium salts, can become toxic to plants as they build up over time.

Gray water systems should be entirely underground and irrigate plants:

Because gray water may contain fecal matter, it is highly recommended, and in some states mandated, that gray water systems remain entirely underground and irrigate plants directly at the roots, using the flood method or drip irrigation.

Which types of plants is it safe to irrigate with gray water?

Gray water experts advise using gray water to irrigate only your ornamental plants and lawn. It definitely should not be used to water plants that bear fruit or vegetables that you'll eat, like tomato plants or edible root plants, like carrots or potatoes.

An outdoor air-conditioning unit produces 10 to 15 gallons of _____ on a hot summer day.

One of the biggest wastes of water in your home is the water that collects as a result of condensation in your air-conditioning unit. An outdoor air-conditioning unit produces 10 to 15 gallons of condensation on a hot summer day, all of it wasted.

What's the simplest way to collect water from a window-mounted air conditioning unit?

You can easily collect water from a window-mounted air conditioning unit by placing a bucket underneath it to catch the condensation that drips from it.

What is the biggest drawback of a professionally installed gray water collection system compared to the do-it-yourself methods?

Professionally installed gray water collection systems collect the gray water from your home, send it to a central filter and pump it out into an irrigation system. This type of system is quite a bit more expensive than collecting gray water in buckets.

What amount of gray water is safe to use in your garden?

According to Allen V. Barker of the University of Massachusetts, you should use no more than a half gallon of gray water per square foot of well-drained soil per week.

If Americans used only gray water to water their plants, they would save 6.6 billion _____ of water every day.

If Americans used only gray water to water their plants, they would not only save 6.6 billion gallons of water every day, they would save on the electricity it takes to pump water into their homes.

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About This Quiz

The world's population is exploding and water supplies just can't keep up with the demand. How can you help conserve the Earth's limited water resources? Check out our quiz and learn about gray water and how it can be used to make a difference.

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