Styles of water reclamation systems for home use include bucketing, diversion and treatment of gray water. Manual bucketing involves collecting the water in a bucket and pouring it onto plants for irrigation. Although simple and inexpensive, manual bucketing is labor intensive, and users must ensure human waste material does not contaminate the water.
Diversion systems offer a hands-free method of dispersing gray water to irrigate the lawn and plants. It requires the installation of a special plumbing system that divides waste water into gray water and black water. Black water contains fecal material and is not suitable for irrigation. Gray water includes water from showers, sinks and laundry. It is rich in nutrients that are beneficial to plants. Diversion systems often use underground sprinklers that provide even distribution of the water to prevent pooling and problems with stagnant water.
Treatment systems are the most expensive types of reclamation systems and, as of 2015, are generally too expensive for use in individual homes. These systems provide mechanical and chemical treatment of water to remove contaminants and pathogens so the water is safe for reuse in flushing toilets. Some treatment systems process gray water to the degree that it is safe for use in laundry.