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Ideas for Water Reclamation & Reuse

Old 06-05-19, 09:47 AM
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work4bike
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Ideas for Water Reclamation & Reuse

As of now here in Jax, Florida we are in the midst of minor drought, our last major drought was in 2007/2008. https://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/

There are a lot of brown lawns around right now, except of course the yards that have sprinkler systems, I do not; however, I also don't have a typical yard of grass. Virtually all my yard is covered by heavy leaf mulch, which I collect from around my neighborhood. I do this so I can grow a year-around garden, as well as many plants that produce seeds/berries for the wildlife -- grass has no place.

Heavy mulching saves tons of water for plant use, not only by trapping moisture, but also by creating a sponge-like soil that retains moisture. For every 1% increase in organic matter in the soil, the soil can hold an extra 16,500 gallons of water per acre. https://www.canr.msu.edu/news/compos...droughty_soils

I also save rain water in about seven 5-gallon buckets. Yet, the most interesting way I reclaim water is from washing dishes. It's interesting, because you can see how much water is actually used per day, which makes you realize how much water we use/waste. I get nearly a gallon of water from just pre-washing a few dishes --- that water can go in my garden. It's incredible.

I also collect the water from my A/C condensation drain. I get about 5-gallons per day from that -- It kind of makes me wish that the drought will continue....


I'd be interested to hear any strategies used by other water-conscious people out there; I'd imagine a lot from California and Texas...






.
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Old 06-05-19, 10:25 AM
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Shower at work.
Rocks in the yard.
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Old 06-05-19, 10:32 AM
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Our washing machine and sink water drains directly into four-50 gallon rain barrels, all connected between one another so that's like having a single 200 gallon water tank. I use that water to irrigate my entire back yard through a series of 1/2" poly tubing.

Last edited by roadfix; 06-07-19 at 02:26 PM. Reason: add photo
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Old 06-05-19, 11:25 AM
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I water my plants from the sky.
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Old 06-05-19, 11:42 AM
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I'm one of the few people who take a bath. However, it came in handy when we had a drought several decades ago. Scooped buckets of water and poured on the plants outside.

It would make sense if some grey water from the house could be filtered and redirected to toilets or non edible plants. I have seen some home made systems. It might be a feature in future homes as water becomes more precious.
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Old 06-05-19, 01:27 PM
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I have a total of about 1500 gallons of rain barrel capacity. Its like stealing water.

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Old 06-05-19, 01:46 PM
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Originally Posted by bikecrate View Post
I'm one of the few people who take a bath. However, it came in handy when we had a drought several decades ago. Scooped buckets of water and poured on the plants outside.

It would make sense if some grey water from the house could be filtered and redirected to toilets or non edible plants. I have seen some home made systems. It might be a feature in future homes as water becomes more precious.
I wouldn't use gray water for plants even if I wasn't going to eat them. The soaps and who knows what else can't be good for the plants. If you're watering them, you want to keep them alive and healthy.

I'm not writing to argue and agree overall. Just sharing my thoughts for what little they're worth since you seem to be working on this.
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Old 06-05-19, 01:59 PM
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Originally Posted by work4bike View Post
As of now here in Jax, Florida we are in the midst of minor drought, our last major drought was in 2007/2008. https://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/

There are a lot of brown lawns around right now, except of course the yards that have sprinkler systems, I do not; however, I also don't have a typical yard of grass. Virtually all my yard is covered by heavy leaf mulch, which I collect from around my neighborhood. I do this so I can grow a year-around garden, as well as many plants that produce seeds/berries for the wildlife -- grass has no place..
Sorry for replying too many times in your thread.

We've talked about your garden before, you've shared pictures, it's awesome. If my memory half works now than I'm 41, you get a lot of bird and butterfly visitors.

Grass has no place, this is really a lot more important than most people realize. There are a lot of good reasons not to have a grass lawn:
  1. You hate mowing the lawn.
  2. You'd rather save $$ for retirement than pay someone else to mow your lawn.
  3. Have you ever been in a wild meadow? Nobody mows there, it's just plants that don't grow too high.
  4. Collectively we burn a lot of gas mowing the lawn. This is bad for the climate which is already causing us problems.
  5. Collectively it takes a lot of water. We're having problems in the west about enough water.
  6. Native plants feed birds and pollinators. We need that, but it's also just nice to have a hummingbird or a butterfly in your garden.
Thanks for bringing that up. 🌻 (That's a sunflower emoji, better against the fence than grass.)
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Old 06-05-19, 02:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
I wouldn't use gray water for plants even if I wasn't going to eat them. The soaps and who knows what else can't be good for the plants. If you're watering them, you want to keep them alive and healthy.
As I mentioned in my earlier post my laundry water drains into several rain barrels and that water is directed through a series of poly tubing with a help of gravity to irrigate my entire down-sloping back yard. I use "eco-friendly" detergent so there's really no harm to the plants, mostly trees, bamboo, and shrubs.
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Old 06-05-19, 02:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
Sorry for replying too many times in your thread.

We've talked about your garden before, you've shared pictures, it's awesome. If my memory half works now than I'm 41, you get a lot of bird and butterfly visitors.

Grass has no place, this is really a lot more important than most people realize. There are a lot of good reasons not to have a grass lawn:
  1. You hate mowing the lawn.
  2. You'd rather save $$ for retirement than pay someone else to mow your lawn.
  3. Have you ever been in a wild meadow? Nobody mows there, it's just plants that don't grow too high.
  4. Collectively we burn a lot of gas mowing the lawn. This is bad for the climate which is already causing us problems.
  5. Collectively it takes a lot of water. We're having problems in the west about enough water.
  6. Native plants feed birds and pollinators. We need that, but it's also just nice to have a hummingbird or a butterfly in your garden.
Thanks for bringing that up. 🌻 (That's a sunflower emoji, better against the fence than grass.)
The emissions are terrible for lawn equipment. Horrible. Sure newer stuff has more regulation, but in net it is all way too high. Worth reading for details:
https://www.epa.gov/sites/production...ents/banks.pdf

These stats may be out of date, but not by much:
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Old 06-06-19, 08:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
I wouldn't use gray water for plants even if I wasn't going to eat them. The soaps and who knows what else can't be good for the plants. If you're watering them, you want to keep them alive and healthy.

I'm not writing to argue and agree overall. Just sharing my thoughts for what little they're worth since you seem to be working on this.
Not really something I'm working on. Just musing about the future. I think there would have to be some filtration component to make it work.
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Old 06-06-19, 03:08 PM
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Our rivers are pretty full up here, we have the opposite problem.
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Old 06-07-19, 11:34 AM
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Pave it all..
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Old 06-09-19, 06:09 AM
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I have thought of buying a scythe or similar tool to replace my reel mower.
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Old 06-10-19, 02:57 PM
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Goats or other livestock. Lawn care during the week and cabrito or lamb on the weekends.
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Old 06-10-19, 04:24 PM
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They use goats to keep part of the grass trimmed at OHare airport. The goats get places mowers can't, aren't bothered by the noise, and can work closer to the runways than people can.
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Old 06-14-19, 06:11 PM
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Lawns may not be the best thing but they're not the worst thing either. A lot of our neighbours have redeveloped to much bigger building footprints and paved over much of the rest of their lots which puts more strain on the local storm drainage system - the City is having to invest in more containment to prevent flooding from our more frequent storms. Lawns and gardens are permeable and provide a buffer against storm events. I use a push mower and hand trim the odd bits - (almost) silent - gas powered lawn mowers and leaf blowers are a noise as well as an air quality issue, especially when one or more neighbours is having the work done most days of the week. Sure I put a bit of fertilizer down a couple of times a year but I don't use pesticides or weedkillers. Natural meadows don't stay short by themselves - they are grazed by deer, rabbits, geese, whatever.
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Old 06-16-19, 10:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
I wouldn't use gray water for plants even if I wasn't going to eat them. The soaps and who knows what else can't be good for the plants. If you're watering them, you want to keep them alive and healthy.

I'm not writing to argue and agree overall. Just sharing my thoughts for what little they're worth since you seem to be working on this.
The local community gardens are next to the MUP I use on my commute, they use water from a fire hydrant to fill the tank available for watering the gardens. I'm not sure of the quality of the water, but it says do not drink in big letters on the tank.
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