Water is a precious resource that for many is becoming harder and harder to come by as droughts spread far and wide. Whether you live in a drought filled area like us – we are currently on high-level water restrictions – or are looking to make your home and garden more environmentally friendly, there are many ways you can reuse water in your garden.
What is Grey Water?
Greywater is wastewater that is generated from non-toilet plumbing fixtures such as showers, baths, basins, and taps. It can be recycled and reused. This is not to be confused with blackwater which is water that has been mixed with waste from the toilet.
Things to Consider
- Does your city allow greywater recycling?
- Does your city allow collecting rainwater?
- Greywater can contain pathogens so only reuse gray water in irrigation applications, not on foods that are to be eaten raw
- Greywater could become blackwater if stored, so best to use straight away
Advantages of Using Greywater
There are many advantages of using greywater, including:
- reducing your water bills
- watering your garden during times of drought and water restrictions
- cutting down on the amount of pollution going into waterways
- decreasing the demand on infrastructure – sewage transportation, treatment and disposal
Ways to Reuse Water in Your Garden
One of the most popular ways to save on water in your garden is a rainwater tank or barrel allowing you to save water from rains and use it to water your garden. These tanks come in a variety of shapes and sizes and can also be a great place to store grey water from your home as well, allowing you to easily water your garden or fill up a pool from the tank as needed. You can gravity feed from a tank onto your gardens or you can purchase a pump.
Use your bath or shower water to water your plants. Filling your watering can from your bath or a large bucket that collects your shower water is a great way to reduce your water waste. To do this ensure you are using a plant safe soap or body wash so you do not cause any damage to your plants.
The water that is used to rinse your dishes can be used to water your garden. The small amount of detergent left in the water when rinsing is just enough to cut surface tension in your garden or to help rinse plants that have been affected by aphids. Use a dishpan when rinsing your dishes to save this water.
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Reuse the water from vegetables, boiling eggs, and cooking pasta. This cooking water is packed with nutrients that will be added to your garden when you use cooking water. If adding directly to your garden allow it cool to room temperature first.
Water from Animals
Use the water from cleaning your fish tanks to add nutrients to your garden while watering it. The waste from your fish is so good for your garden that you can even buy concentrated fish waste to add to your garden. Don’t let this valuable resource go to waste.
Just by reusing the water that you use around your house, you will be able to replenish your garden with some of the water it needs to grow. But remember, do not over water your garden, giving your plants and landscape only the required amount of water.