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Using grey water?

Posted by cjra TX (My Page) on
Sat, Jun 14, 08 at 22:52

Not sure which forum is appropriate for this, but most of my plants are xeriscape type (and many native to Texas). Given drought restrictions approaching, I want to use the a/c water and bath water to water as much as possible, but I'm not sure if this water is 'healthy' for them - I'd heard a/c water was a bit saline, and of course there's soap in the bath water.

All the plantings are new (in the past few weeks)

I have:
Plumbago
lantana
Coral Honeysuckle
trumpet vines
purple heart
Pride of Barbados
primrose jasmine
Carolina jessamine
firebush
Mexican heather

and a few others whose names I don't know. Are any of these particularly sensitive? Are there any plants that I should avoid using grey water with? Our water is already very hard (not sure what's in it - we're in So. Texas)


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Using grey water?

btw - I'm not sure if 'grey' water is the appropriate term for the a/c water. This is the water that the air conditioner dehumidifying unit outputs. We get about 15 gal/day lately (running at 80F) if we're home all day, a little less when not.

I honestly don't know how the process works, to say what's in the water. WE have been using it on our trees for a couple of years.

The bath water we've only used a couple of times so far - no pump, we just use a bucket to carry a few gallons outside.


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RE: Using grey water?

The AC water is nothing more than condensation, like rain. The soap in bath water is nothing to be concerned about unless you use a whole bar each bath. The soap will act a surfactant so the water will hold to soil particles longer. Which means the water will be available to the plant longer.


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RE: Using grey water?

also check your local codes. some don't allow use of grey water (although people do anyway). usually i see laundry water being used in the garden. i know some soaps are better than others - some you probably wouldn't want to use on edible plants. i've seen diagrams of systems where you put grey water through a series of rock/sand before using it too. i found quite a few links awhile ago because i was going to try and figure something out to use more grey water too. it's a good way to go.


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RE: Using grey water?

  • Posted by jkom51 Z9 CA/Sunset 17 (My Page) on
    Mon, Mar 9, 09 at 19:43

It's usually recommended you alternate 2x gray water to 1x fresh water, due to salt build-up using the gray water. Otherwise, you can put in a DIY filtering system. Here are some websites with info you can use for research:

Greywater sites:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reclaimed_water
http://www.greywaterguerrillas.com/
http://www.greywater.com/
http://www.ecologycenter.org/ecohouse/greywater.html

The best solution is rainwater harvesting from your roof, assuming you live in a state where this is allowed (believe it or not, in some states, such as Utah, it is NOT). However, you need room to place (and hide) a fairly large cistern on a concrete pad, about 9-12' around and 5-6' high, depending on storage size needed. In an average rainy season you can harvest 15,000 - 18,000 gallons of water for storage. Note that there may be additional costs to install new gutters for easy feeding into the cistern. For some houses it's easy; for others it's not, so an individual analysis is needed for the appropriate solution to each unique house/site.

Rainwater harvesting:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rainwater_harvesting

Rainwater storage tanks:
http://www.plastic-mart.com/class.php?cat=9
http://www.ntotank.com/?gclid=CMKatN68vpMCFRGiiQodI1wbfQ
http://www.loomistank.com/

This is all info I got from a local vendor who is installing a filtered gray water system for us in the next month. Hope this helps others!


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