As the summer heats up and the drought continues here in Southern California, it calls to think outside the box when watering our yards. What I am talking about is grey water systems. “A grey water system is the recycling of ‘waste’ water that is generated in homes and commercial buildings through the use of water for laundry, dishes, or for bathing. Grey water differs from black water which is wastewater used in toilets and designated for sewage systems.”
There are many different grey water systems available. Most systems involve getting permits from the city. But there are a few that involve no permits and just a little DIY elbow grease. One of the systems I found that involved no permits is a simple gravity fed laundry system. As long as you do not alter the existing plumbing system you should not need a permit.
*please check with your local laws and regulations before installing any grey water system*
Using the washers built in pump you can divert the water from the sewer into either a holding tank or directly into your distributions pipes. From there they will drain into a mulch basin, which will help disperse the water and keep it from pooling. Using a simple gravity fed laundry system “You can expect to harvest 10 to 25 gallons of water per load for a horizontal-axis machine, or about 40 gallons per load for a vertical axis machine.” That water can add up quickly and greatly reduce your need for clean water. The average household uses 119 gallons of water per day in SD County. A grey water system can reuse 50-80% of this water for irrigation, saving up to 34,700 gallons of water per household each year. At today’s rates this translates to savings of around $400 per year.
The greenhouse group is a purposed based organization. Our purpose is to leave you better than we found you, and my passion is to leave this environment better than how I received it. So if you would like to know more about how to reduce your impact on our water supply contact me at Greg@greenmeansgrow.com
Grey water definition:
Article on the California grey water code: http://www.thegreywaterguide.com/california.html
California grey water code:
Choose the right system for you:
This old house TV show on grey water system: