All About Water Systems: Rain, Waste, Filtration, Heating

West Coast Green 2010

The West Coast Green trade show last week featured over 140 exhibitors showcasing the newest innovations in green building. I saw a lot of products related to water: how to collect it, how to use it, how to reuse it, how to heat it, how to cool it. Here's a roundup of some of the companies and products you'll want to know about:

Wastewater Management:

Airvac, Inc: specializes in vacuum sewer system technology. They're a cost-effective, environmentally friendly alternative to traditional gravity sewers providing low maintenance, efficient and reliable sewage collection.

Orenco: sustainable wastewater treatment products and services. Find our more about residential septic systems, and choose your system here.

Sloan Valve: small-scale water reuse systems for bathrooms. The Efficiency series is a variety of fixtures and products for toilets, sinks, and showers to help you save water.

Water Wise Group: residential greywater systems. The Aqua2Use connects to your drip irrigation system and works with your existing plumbing. Once it collects water from your laundry, shower and bath, the greywater is filtered through a state of the art progressive filtration system, and automatically diverted to your garden. Buy it here for $599.

Rainwater Harvesting:

BRAE Rainwater Harvesting: distributes complete rainwater harvesting systems for residential homes. The Cottage System is an entry level system with small, above ground storage capacities that can be installed in a few hours. The full Home system is for a project that needs large storage capacities or water treatment features. These usually include below ground storage cisterns with 430-6,000 gallon capacity. Request a quote here.

Rain Technologies: Cradle-to-Cradle water resource management company. Featured products include the Raintube, the first system to work with any roof/gutter combination and made from 100% recycled HDPE; the Rainspace, a site-assembled sub-surface water storage chamber.

Rainwater Hog: discreet modular rainwater storage. Its slim, easily handled tanks are designed for 20 years of useful life. They can fit into small spaces and screw together to provide rainwater storage in increments of 50 gallons.

Home Filtration Systems:

LifeSource Water Systems: a whole-house water filtration and treatment system that uses no salt, potassium, chemicals or magnets and replaces the need for a separate water softener. Three systems available: the Basic Home System, the Premium Home System, and the Estate Home System.

Watercone by Mage Water Management: an evaporation-based solar desalination system that converts saltwater into clean drinking water. Simple yet effective design: fill up the base with saltwater and place it in the sun. The water condenses onto the inner wall, trickles down, and collects on the lip. Originally designed for coastal fisherman in Yemen. See how it works here.

Heating/Cooling:

AquaStar: This "green air conditioning system" uses water (as opposed to Freon) as a refrigerant for refrigerators and air conditioners. It has an ultra-high efficiency 40-plus SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) rating, no CFCs or toxic gases, and improves Indoor Air Quality and reduces AC electricity operating cost by up to 40 percent. Click here to see how it works.

Noritz Tankless Water Heaters: Over 93% efficient, Noritz tankless water heaters are considered one of the most advanced heaters on the market. Their unique innovation utilizes a dual heat exchanger, a fusion of stainless steel and copper heat exchangers, which results in a dramatic reduction of carbon dioxide and increases the heater's efficiency level to over 93%. Click here for the top six reasons to go tankless and click here for why tankless is green.

(Images: Raintube and Watercone image via CNET)