Drought? Get Your Greywater On!

 In Explore Ecology

As temperatures and water bills rise in California, greywater installations are becoming popular as a way to save water, money and have a positive effect on the environment and groundwater supplies.

Greywater is the water that comes from your kitchen sink, dishwasher, bath, shower and laundry machine. (It’s not blackwater- water that comes from your toilet or from washing diapers that may contain harmful bacteria.)  Greywater can be harvested from your kitchen and bathroom and used to water ornamental plants or fruit trees. Your greywater contains nutrients which act as a fertilizer for plants. Using greywater for irrigation keeps valuable water out of the sewage system and keeps the water that you use onsite, saving you money and resources.

How Can You Reuse Greywater?

1.) Easy Bucket Method- Keep a bucket in your shower and use it to capture the water that comes out before your water heater kicks in. Pour this water on your plants! For easy, DIY right now tips on greywater check out Modern Farmer’s blog here.

2.) Pipe Greywater Outside- For basic guidelines, check out GreywaterAction’s website.

3.) Professional Greywater Installation- Have a professional assess your property and set up a system that will work for your irrigation needs. Some of these systems can be quite simple and effective and help you maintain a green landscape during dry times.

Note: Recycling your greywater is an excellent way to ensure that the personal care and laundry products that you use are healthy for you and the planet. Check out rainwater harvesting specialist Brad Lancaster’s website for tips about what kind of soap to use in greywater harvesting.

Great resources for learning more about greywater include: Oasis Designs- Art Ludwig’s website is a treasure trove about water in general and how to save it!


  • Kristi cassady

    Great ideas. Many gardners are looking for ways to beat the drought.

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