Thursday, December 4, 2008

Grey Water & Rain Water

One of our winter projects this year is to build a grey water system to take the grey water from the house to our garden behind the house. We are building the system ourselves. The system is a very basic one. We will have new piping running from our sinks, tub/shower, and washing machine and running them to the garden area. Because we do not use chemicals, we will not have need of a filtration system for the grey water. It is our hope that once the system is completed, we will be watering the garden mostly with the grey water. The system will utilize gravity to carry the water, thus avoiding the use of electricity to pump the water to the garden area.

Another idea we are looking into is a way to utilize rain water. Each spring, we have had a rainy season bringing enough rain to flood the garden in past years. If we can find a way to collect and store the water for using later once the rains have past, this will also lower our rural water usage. Our home has no gutters, but there are 2 areas where we are easily able to place containers to collect the run-off from the roof. The big question for us would be how to prevent mosquitos from laying eggs in the water and also prevent algae from forming in the water. We would be wanting only an organic method to prevent these things.

With the changes to using grey water planned, I am now researching ways to avoid using chemicals in my homemade cleaning solutions. Many recipes online call for things like ammonia which you wouldn't want tio use if planning to utilize grey water. As I find new recipes that are safe for use in grey water, I will post them or their links to the blog.

If any of you have started utilizing grey water systems at your homes, I would love to hear about your experiences. We will keep you updated on our system once we get it in place.