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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Greywater reuse in agritourism destinations Partanen, Sarah Bonnie


Though Canada has a perceived abundance of fresh water resources, they can be affected by localized drought, changing weather patterns and aging infrastructure. Greywater collected from sinks, baths, showers and washing machines can provide an alternate source of non-potable water, improving the security of fresh water resources in Canada. The agriculture sector is one area where greywater could be put to beneficial use. Farming at the rural-urban interface has been growing in popularity within North America, and provides farmers with new opportunities as they attract more visitors to the farm. Greywater reuse is one way farmers can address the challenge of how to manage the associated increased influx of wastewater. However, there is a lack of integrated research that explores the feasibility of using greywater as a water resource on farms at the rural-urban interface. There is also a lack of knowledge regarding farmers' perceptions and opinions of greywater reuse. Without this information, the barriers to greywater reuse on farms are unknown. This research undertook a feasibility study into the reuse of greywater at the UBC Farm in British Columbia, Canada. It explored feasibility from a technical, regulatory, and economic standpoint. A questionnaire was also developed and administered to farmers across BC as a way to discover the barriers to greywater reuse. It was found that the UBC Farm could generate enough greywater through produce washing operations to flush all the toilets in the proposed new farm centre throughout the summer months. The farm centre's roof provides the opportunity to capture enough rainwater to flush the toilets throughout the remainder of the year. The greywater treatment and distribution system becomes more economically feasible as the price of potable water increases. The questionnaire responses also highlighted that cost is a significant barrier to farmers' adoption of greywater reuse on their own farms. While most farmers saw the benefit of reusing water, they couldn't predict their customers' view of the practice. Farmers are unlikely to adopt a practice having the potential to hurt their business, so an awareness of customer perceptions will be required prior to their consideration of greywater reuse.

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Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 Canada