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Grey Water: A Drought Solution

Do you want to keep your trees and landscaping healthy and thriving during the drought?

You might have heard that grey water reuse is expensive and complicated, but not so! Grey water reuse is for everyone, and is an excellent way to save water during dry seasons when methods such as rainwater harvesting prove less effective. Even simple systems can recycle tens of thousands of gallons a year for a low cost. Just remember, if you use water in your home, then you have grey water to reuse!

There are several simple grey water systems that you can install. The first is a Laundry to Lawn System, which is a way of taking the grey water from your laundry and putting it out for irrigation without needing to filter the water. By connecting the drain hose of your laundry to a 3-way diverter valve, you have the ability to either direct your water to the drain or to your plants. From there, you Install 1’’ pipes to carry the grey water out to your plants w/ ½ inch outlets that direct water to mulch basins near the base of the plants. See detailed instructions here on how to install your own system.

The materials for the whole thing costs about $100-$200, and the best part is that the washing machine pressurizes the water eliminating the need for a pump, and you don’t need to pull a permit. Other options include systems such as the Gravity-Flow branched drain system where you cut into the existing plumbing so that you can access the grey water from sinks and showers, and simple pumped systems where the water is first collected into a surge tank and then pumped out to irrigate a larger area. These do, however, require permitting and you will likely need a plumber and/or friends to help you install.

Still not ready?

There’s other ways you can conserve water. When you’re taking a shower, use a shower bucket and collect the water before it heats up. You can collect your used pasta cooking liquid and the water you used to wash rice or vegetables. Every household’s water use is different, but what’s important is to be cognizant of our water use and to actively work towards reducing it.

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