My Frugal Life - Watering My Flowers With Recycled Water

Water is a precious resource. I re-use the wash and rinse cycles of my washing machine to water my garden. No government agency has hassled me yet over putting gray water on flower beds. When the water pumps into my utility sink, I stop it up and hold recycled milk jugs at the spout, which I then set aside for later use. My Frugal Life


It's good exercise and builds up the arm muscles and teaches my daughter a wonderful lesson about conservation. The plants appreciate it, too. Sometimes while I'm schlepping water, I think of Jack & Jill going up the hill to fetch water... kinda silly, but then again, so am I. :) I'm in the market for a foot pump so I can use my bathtub water, too, because filling jugs can get a little messy. Although a little water never hurt anything.

Betsy Russ from Parma Heights, Ohio

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July 27, 20060 found this helpful

I wish that I had a utility sink so I could do this too. This summer, I've quit using my dishwasher and I wash my dishes by hand. I use a dishpan to catch the water which I use to water my plants, garden, and bushes. Even though we're in a drought, they look nice and green.

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July 27, 20060 found this helpful

Great Idea. I wonder if you could rig up something to siphon out the water like people do with gas from cars and use the hose it comes out of to fill the jugs also with your bathwater.

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July 28, 20060 found this helpful

Just a thought, if you look at the hardware store where they sell deep fryers they have a hand pump to put the oil back in the original container for future use. It may come in handy for water too! Thanks for the idea, my water bills have gone thru the roof trying to keep my vegetables alive.

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July 28, 20060 found this helpful

I also recycle my water where ever I can. I take the stale pet water every evening and water the flowers on my porch and around the house. I then give the pets fresh water. I have also taken my dish water and done the same before I let it go down the drain. My mop water goes outside on any weeds I want to kill as I use vinegar to mop with.

This save me a little but it all adds up.

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July 28, 20060 found this helpful

I love your idea BUT I use this one for me.

We live in the south where it is scorching hot & very humid mostly everyday.

I have square utility pans that hold up to 4 quarts at the end of each of our rain gutters down spouts.

After a "heat storm" I collect the rain for the next day or two.

Doing it this way makes about 4 gallons on rain water saved that I use on our trees, lilac bushes, several mums and also our vegetable garden which is planted in two large pots!

We very seldom have to run our outdoor spickets to water the plants we have.

HEAT STORMS are just what the words state. Heat builds up in the atmosphere causing a sudden down pour of rain that only lasts for a few minutes to cool things off BUT I can collect 4 gallons of precious water this way.

I am borrowing a "sump pump" from a friend that will help me get the rain water out of a 50 gallon barrel that I have had cut in half and sitting below each down spout to help collect more then 1 gallon of water at a time as the pans are always over flowing when I get out to them.

Being frugal is not hard to do, just use your imagination...Good Luck

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July 30, 20060 found this helpful

I have a question... won't the soap from the dish water, bath water, and washer water harm the plants?

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July 31, 20060 found this helpful

I have a rain barrel that I made. In one good rain it fills right up. I got a 35g barrel from Freecycle. Then I got bulkhead fittings from Ebay. Then I got a brass spigot from my hardware store. The spigot itself was the most expensive part at about $8.

All barrel parts were about $20. Then I bought some bricks to jack up the barrel 8 inches. These cost about $10. If I water carefully I can make the barrel last 3 weeks with no rain. I use this rain barrel to water plants in my backyard.

The barrel is filled from my existing gutters. I also covered it with a frame of wood with screen door mesh on it to keep mosquitos from breeding.

I also bought a hose with a shutoff valve on the end. I can open the valve a tiny bit and drip irrigate single plants with it. I just move the hose, connected to my rain barrel, every 20 minutes to another plant. The rain barrel does not have enough pressure to run a real drip hose.

On another note, I have a second rain barrel with no cover. I let mosquitos breed in there and I feed them to my tropical fish in my house. When I clean the fish tanks, the "bad" fish water is used to water the plants in the front yard. This fish water contains nitrates which the plants will use.

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July 31, 20060 found this helpful

Soap from the water will not harm the plants. However it will kill many insects, both good and bad.

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July 31, 20060 found this helpful

Joan wrote:

"Great Idea. I wonder if you could rig up something to siphon out the water like people do with gas from cars and use the hose it comes out of to fill the jugs also with your bathwater."

Joan, I have extensive experience with siphoning, as I clean my fish tanks weekly. I remove the water with a siphon. The key to a siphon is the source water (like the tub) must be higher than the destination (the bucket) by at least 4 inches. So siphoning from a tub to a bucket on the same level will not work well, if at all.

If your tub was up on feet, it might work. But it generally won't work with modern tubs which are on the same level as the bathroom floor.

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July 31, 20060 found this helpful


An idea just occurred to me. You could use a small statuary water pump to pump the water from your tub to a bucket. They should have the lift you need, you will need a lift of about 24 inches to get above the tub edge. The electric pump will get all but the last 1/2 inch of water.

These pumps generally cost $20us.

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August 1, 20060 found this helpful

In the South, kids do a LOT of Kiddy-Pool splashing, so I let them splash once a week, since we're on restriction with LOW water levels, then, like you, I fill two two-gallon watering cans on their sides, repeating until I have the water level too low to fill, then treat my backyard and container plants. Then,

should they complain of heat throughout the week, I let them play "boats" and water guns in the lower

level, and wade to their hearts' content. Their pleasure comes before my flowers', but this way both

get the needed attention. I'll certainly do the bath water the same way, and not worry a minute about

the soapy water hurting the plants OR the compost

because the soap helps boost the composting of leaves, especially, AND Rose Bushes have LOVED

dishpan water FOREVER, blooming their hearts out

in appreciation by the back doors of Americana homes. Remember, no matter how disgusting, urine

is WATER, is RECYCLED into our DRINKING water, SO-o-o, it can be used to kill WEEDS...AND...mark territory ahead of wandering pets and pests on four legs trespassing on the properties, doing wrong things or eating nibbles from the garden. One invisible whiff of a long line of it will keep them away!

Orientals have been utilizing human waste for centuries. With the cost of water and service to our home, we may be digging a trench around our garden and filling it as we "drain" ourselves with whatever, too. I don't have the courage to actually use it on eadibles, but the Orientals have been doing it MOST SUCCESSFULLY FOREVER and that's what the uproar over Walmart's so-called NEW ORGANIC LINE OF FOODS is all about. America is not quite ready for Oriental imported human fertilizer

recycled and fed to us. I almost wished the Media

had not TOLD us, but then again, I needed to know.

Now, each family can use their OWN and know what's

going where, and the contamination factors in America, but if added to compost and sold abroad,

who knows what is transpired into the plants we eat?

It certainly would cut down on toilet flushing if we had

an invalid's bedside toilet to sit on in the privacy of

our own fenced yard. LOL I recently ran across the

FIRST outhouse for INDOORS, which was full of dirt

boxes and one or two "Holes" in furniture-finish. lol

One is still available for viewing on the Internet.

Women from many third world countries consider ANY water a sheer luxury, so we should use ours VERY wisely and recycle, recycle, recycle. Also, Mrs.

Winchester, of the famed rifle, was an architect who

designed the first sprinkler system, and car wash all

by collecting, directing and utilizing the rain water from her special guttering system off the roofs of her home. She also invented the first indoor shower

and MANY other things with her MILLIONS_PER_DAY

income until she went mad and died. Keep our thinking caps on and checked at all times.

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