Note: Once a week I share a popular post from the archives. This post was originally published in April 2013.
When we first moved into this house we moved the washer and dryer out to the garage so we could covert the large mudroom/pantry into another bedroom for Christian and Josiah. Since this is really only a temporary situation we didn’t want to go through the expense to tie the washing machine into our septic system. Also, I don’t want to overload our septic. So, we’ve had a hose that drains our gray water on to the ground and I move it around some to water as much as I can.
It works ok, but it’s kind of ugly and the hose is only so long. So, I’ve been thinking about what to do that will fix both those problems and wouldn’t cost much. Here’s what I came up with for recycling water. …
Total cost…$0.27 for everything but the water hose. The 100 foot hose was $28. I had everything else around the house, I just needed to convince Carl that I really did want this done.
- A 55 gallon drum (we got this from a friend who has a petroleum products company. Now before I get any grief, let me just say that this actually held a soap, has been pressure washed out and has been on our property and empty for over 2 years.)
- An outdoor water faucet (I found one in the garage – I think it’s one we replace because it wouldn’t shut off all the way)
- A threaded pvc nut to screw onto the water faucet to keep it in the drum (I bought this a ReStore for $0.27 – I just happened to be there when I saw it but you can get it at any home improvement store)
- Expandable foam (also called Great Stuff)
- Spray Paint (to help with the ugly factor)
- Wood Pallets (I have a couple of these kind from a tile company. I like them because they look more like a boardwalk than a pallet)
- Waterhose ( I got a 100 foot one because I wanted it to be able to reach pretty far)
- Drill and circle bit
Here’s what Carl did…
- Drill a hole in the bottom of the drum
- Put faucet in the hole (the part that usually screws into the pipe)
- From inside attach pvc nut (it helps to have an 11yo boy around for this)
- Put exandable foam around the faucet
Here’s what it looked like from the inside. I thought about washing it the dirt out and then decided against it.
Build a little platform for it to sit on.
Here’s the front. I’ve sown some morning glory seeds in front of the pallet to grow up onto it. Because, it really is all about being cute.
I’m just leaving the faucet open all the time so the drum won’t actually hold the water for very long. With the longer hose I can water all the citrus orchard, the side yard and a part of the front yard. We do an average of 3 loads of laundry a day, 5 days a week so that’s quite a bit of watering. I also use a homemade laundry soap.
Have you ever used a gray water recapturing system?
You can find information about other fruits and veggies by searching clicking on the In The Garden tab up top or in The Gardening Notebook.