Thursday, November 13, 2008

Grey Water and Sustainable Organic Gardening

Organic gardening is a holistic approach to growing plants that takes all aspects of the ecosystem into consideration. Though the phenomenon of using grey water is just starting to catch on with organic gardeners, it use can create even more sustainability through its implementation and regular use.

Organic gardening is an activity that more and more people are getting involved in each year. For some gardeners it is a passion that stretches far beyond just growing fruits and vegetables. Imagine being able to get more out of the water that you use on a daily basis in your kitchen, for instance, and being able to use that water to support your organic growing.

This kind of sustainability is at the core level of the rationale behind organic gardening, so it behooves organic gardeners and growers to consider using gray water in the irrigation of organic gardens.

What is grey water?

Grey water is water that is used in sinks and showers that does not contain solid waste. Although the water has been used once, collection of grey water can be very beneficial and helps to ensure that water is not being wasted. If collected and used properly, grey water can help to conserve water and save money for the organic gardener.

Is it safe for plants?

Grey water can be very beneficial to plants, as long as there are no harsh soaps or chemicals being used in the sinks or bathtubs where the water is being collected. Using natural, biodegradable and organic soaps and cleaners will ensure that you don’t contaminate your produce.

The use of grey water in gardens can be great for plants, as many of the body’s natural oils and dead skin cells help to add more organic material to the water itself, helping to provide additional benefits to the plants without additional work.

How is grey water collected?

Collecting grey water can be done with some minor adjustments to your current plumbing. The water that drains from your sinks or bathtubs is rerouted to a collection tank outside of your home. Generally speaking, sinks are the easiest sources from which you can collect grey water; rerouting the plumbing is far easier from sinks than bath tubs and showers.

The water is moved through pipes to a collection tank, from which you can use the water in your gardening applications. Over time, you will collect a good amount of water that’s full of extra organic material that will benefit your produce and help contribute to the sustainability of your gardening in general.


This post was contributed by Kelly Kilpatrick, who writes on the subject of Customized Girl discount coupons. She invites your feedback at kellykilpatrick24 at gmail dot com


Scott Supak said...

This is an excellent resource for gardeners concerned about using gray water. We appreciate it!

Using biodegradable soaps and other ecologically safe products is generally a good idea, even if you're not using the water for plants. We have many such products available in our sustainable store's natural cleaners section.

nmilner said...

I had never heard the phrase gray water before; thanks for the info. I'm always looking for ways to make my garden more organic. The first step was finding a good organic fertilizer; so far EkloGrow, a kelp-based product, has worked well for me.

Carol said...

I really like the idea of using grey water in my garden. Is it okay to collect the water from my washing machine as well? If yes, what kind of laundry detergent is safe to use if I intend to use this water in my garden?

Anonymous said...

Here is an easy way to harvest greywater using a rainbarrel. And links to organizations and sites promoting greywater. Enjoy!

Unknown said...

Gray water gardening is awesome. I am a Penn State engineering student and me and a few of my classmates made a really cool gray water garden that we connected to a sink for a class project. Here is a walk through of our design. Definitely check it out:

Unknown said...

Pretty good, but graywater shouldn't be stored. The water goes bad and the soap scum builds up into a maintenance nightmare. Just getting it from the sink to the soil works wonderfully.