|Thursday Tips: Grey Water in the Garden|
|Written by Heleigh Bostwick Thursday, 18 April 2013|
With many communities facing drought conditions, it may be time to take a hard look at using gray water to irrigate the garden. Gray water is the non-toilet water generated by households, that is, water from sinks, washing machines, dishwashers, and bathing. Gray water should not be used directly on plants but added to the soil because it contains substances other than plain water.
The best gray water to use is water used for bathing while gray water from sinks and dishwashers is least desirable because of grease and food particles. Another factor to keep in mind is that detergents, soaps, and shampoos that are biodegradeable have a high pH due to the sodium salts that are used to make soap and gray water is basic (i.e. pH above 7.0). Over a period of time can be detrimental to most plants so calcium sulfate is recommended to rectify this problem.
Gray water treatment systems range from complex systems to simple ones that homeowners can use. Keep in mind that complex gray water systems may not be permitted in your state or community due to the possible presence of biological pathogens. Simply carrying gray water in a bucket from the house to the garden or setting up a simple treatment method using a rain garden or creating a small wetland to filter wastewater is probably fine. Both are low-tech methods that work as well. If gray water is unfiltered avoid using it on edible plants.
Using Grey Water in the Garden (digital format)
The New Create an Oasis With Grey Water
Thanks to one of The Daily Dirt readers for suggesting this topic!
Photo source: www.smm.org