January 20, 2009

a gray water recycling system as gardenias

Every day, more and more news is coming out on just how damaged the environment has actually become. We are finally awakening to the fact that we have severely damaged our planet and we are looking for ways to live better and not deplete our precious natural resources.

One simple way to help the planet is by planting trees. Trees have a natural ability to convert carbon dioxide that is present in the air, into oxygen. Another way to help is to conserve water so there is enough water for all humans, plants and animals.

Here in lies a paradox. How can we achieve a balance between giving plants very little water while trying to conserve it, yet giving those plants enough water to survive?

Scientists are hard at work trying to develop plants that are genetically engineered to require little water to grow, but we can also do our part. One way is through a gray water rerouting system.

What is Gray Water?

Water that is generated from our baths, dishwashing, hand washing and laundry is called gray water. Black water is water that is generated from our toilets. It is estimated that an average family of four, generates nearly three thousand gallons of gray water weekly. This water is wasted down the drain and could be reused.

The gray water that is discarded does contain soaps and detergents and often bleach. These soaps and detergents do contain certain minerals that can actually help plants, but the gray water also contains chemicals that may harm plans and the soil. Bleach is especially dangerous as it damages the roots and can actually stay in the soil for a long time.

It is possible to reroute the gray water that is now going down the drain and reroute it to your garden. This is done through a series of treatment tubes and a filtration system. This will help the environment by permitting more plant life to grow and you are conserving water by reusing water that would have gone to waste.

The following tips will help you get started to use gray water for your garden.

If you are planning to use gray water to water your garden, then take note of the following tips before you start. Check with a local plumbing supply house or repair shop to see what products are available to reroute gray water.

Drip irrigation systems that direct gray water directly to the plants are available. These types of units are very efficient as they direct water to the root system of the plants where it is needed and best absorbed.

Most gray water does not require treatment, but a filter on the system will help keep dust or debris that may harm delicate plants, out of the water. Your plumbing supply will be able to assist you on how to treat the water. A stop at your local gardening supply center or landscaping professional will be able to give you information on whether or not you can use gray water on the plants you have in your garden.

Most gray water contains phosphorus, potassium and nitrogen, all of which benefit plants. These chemicals are found in organic soaps and shampoos. Check the labels on the products you purchase and look for natural or organic products. Avoid products that contain toxic chemicals and bleaches. If you notice that your plants are suffering damage from the gray water, stop using it and consult a horticulturist or gardener.

Research is needed before you can use gray water. Every garden is different and has different plants with different growing conditions. If your passion is gardenias, you may not want a gray water recycling system as gardenias to not like soap products, and can damage them severely.

If all this sounds expensive and beyond your ability, remember that you can still recycle gray water by keeping a bucket handy whenever you do your laundry, wash your dishes, or take a bath. If you use organic soaps, you can use this otherwise discarded water on your plants.

1 comment:

Plumbing Supplies said...

This is the novel concept to conserve the greenery and get some pure water as well. Thanks for this post.

- Herman Swan

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