Water Conservation Around the House

If you have lived in California for any length of time, you know that water conservation is just part of your daily routine. There are so many ways to conserve water. You can take shorter showers, not let the faucet run while doing dishes or brushing teeth, and only use washing appliances for full loads. Installing low-flow shower heads, water aerators on faucets, and low-flow toilets also help. What I noticed is that we generate a lot of graywater on daily basis.  Graywater is gently used water from your bathroom sinks, showers, tubs, and washing machines that may contain traces of dirt, food, grease, hair, and certain household cleaning products. While not potable, graywater is perfectly suitable to use for gardens and houseplants. We don't have a huge yard, but between what we have plus some herbs in pots on the back steps, this graywater can be a valuable resource. A complication is that we are on the top floor of our building, and the garden is four stories down. After much research (and some Rube Goldberg ideas), I have recently purchase a rain barrel and am running a garden house, fixed with a funnel, to it from our deck level.  This is an easy way of capturing claimed graywater from your house.

One of the ways we capture graywater is by placing a bucket under the faucet in the tub while the water warms up before showering. Each time, this collects about a gallon of water, which in turn ends up in our collection barrel. You will be surprised how fast water can accumulate if you start collecting it instead of letting it go down the drain. The rain barrel has two spigots so I can easily utilize the water throughout the garden.

Now I do not have any guilt about keeping my yard watered all summer!


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