As the drought in California continues, residents are being encouraged to make every effort to reduce water consumption. In the past, greywater systems were not legal in California, however, it is actually being encouraged now. Greywater systems are simple to set up and allow homeowners to reuse water that may otherwise go down the drain, or into your septic! In most households,greywater that is collected comes from the washing machine. An average washing machine uses 40-45 gallons of water per load (standard top load style washer) and HE machines use an average 14-25 gallons of water per load. Multiply that by how many loads of laundry you do in a week…..it adds up!
The water collected can be used to water plants and trees. Do not spray or dump the water onto the plants, it needs to be irrigated. For health reasons, you are not supposed to use this water on the edible parts of plants or on root vegetables. However, it is imperative that the products being used in the washing machine are safe for flora and fauna. Most laundry detergent will have the words biodegradable or even nontoxic on the label. This in not always indicative of the safety of the product. Simple is always best-read the labels. Also, visit ewg.org to find the safety ratings on your current products and prior to making future purchases.
Read here for some safer alternatives to toxic laundry detergents.
Installing a greywater system is an effective way to minimize water usage by using it to water trees and plants. Aside from being beautiful; trees and plants provide us with sustenance, shade, and give off oxygen! Every little effort to save water counts. Let’s keep California green by going green! Learn more about greywater and water conservation here.