What Our Water's Worth is a campaign led by the Metropolitan Planning Council and Openlands to raise awareness about the value of water in northeastern Illinois and northwestern Indiana

How soon is now? The future of water reuse becomes reality at an Oak Park home

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By Matt Nichols

Many people report that their best ideas come to them in the shower.  In the case of Oak Park, Ill., homeowners Ana Garcia-Doyle and Jim Doyle, their great idea was the shower itself. Or more specifically, the thousands of gallons of water their family of five sends down the drain every year from their showers and tubs – water that could be reused for non-drinking purposes, such as flushing toilets.

Read on to learn more about the Doyles' innovative graywater reuse system.

Conservation Tips

Turn a nuisance into a resource by using the right type of water for the job at hand: rainwater for lawns, graywater for toilets, and tap water for drinking.

Attend one of the many free workshops at the Chicago Center for Green Technology to learn more about cutting-edge technologies and common-sense strategies to use water better in your own home.

You don’t have to overhaul your home’s entire plumbing system to make a big impact in your water use. Update old toilets, faucets and other fixtures with WaterSense-certified models.

November 2012

Illinois American Water (lead sponsor)

Upcoming events

Nov 27 MPC and Openlands Roundtable - Neighborhood Solutions to Wetter Weather: Local Approaches for Stormwater Management 12:00 PM–1:30 PM
Feb 7–9 New Partners for Smart Growth: Building Safe, Healthy, Equitable and Prosperous Communities 12:00 AM–12:00 AM

More events »

WOWW Factors

27 percent

The factor by which the graywater reuse system in the Doyle’s home will cut the family’s water consumption.


The approximate materials cost for the greywater reuse system, which will pay for itself over its lifetime.


The volume of reusable water, in gallons, an average household sends down the drain from showers and laundry each year.

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