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Recycling bath water for the lawn

Australian company Perpetual Water is bringing its gray-water recycling system to the U.S.

Perpetual Water started with a ban on watering lawns.

In Australia, which is suffering through years of drought, a local government agency passed a law to make it illegal to water your lawn in the city of Canberra, said Ralph Petroff, a director for the company's U.S. operations. People began to just take their old bathwater out and dump it on their lawn.

Pass water through here Perpetual Water

In response, Perpetual Water essentially created devices that automated the process and cleaned the water at the same time. The water goes in, gets stripped of biologically active agents and solids, and then gets sent to the sprinkler system.

The system is now coming to the U.S. The GardenAngel, which costs $950, takes water from the washing machine and puts it on the lawn. The more expensive Perpetual Water Home ($4,500) takes water from the showers, sinks and other devices too. It can process up to 660 liters a day. That's a picture of the Perpetual Water Home at right.

The company is currently setting up a trial with the Water District of Southern California. Gray water is unprocessed water that comes from showers and relatively clean devices. It does not include water from toilets or kitchen sinks. Gray water, if processed properly, is pretty safe. A lot of the golf courses in Arizona and Dubai rely on it.

On other water fronts, WaterSaver Technologies is marketing the Aqus. It takes sink water and puts it directly into the toilet. You don't need drinking water to refill your toilet after all. The system can save 10 to 20 gallons a day, according to the company.

Fresh water is going to be one of the first casualties of global warming, according to many experts. Many countries have begun to invest more heavily in desalination sites, purification technologies, and devices that can help use water more efficiently.