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Right now my state is under a burn ban, and water restrictions are in place in most communities. Although we are in the rural area, and not under such a strict watering restriction like those in town are, we are feeling the effects of the drought. Our main source of water is rural water, which is more expensive than what they pay in town for water. (In town they can no longer wash cars, water lawns, or fill swimming pools).
There are two types of waste water. You have your black water (toilet water) and grey water (sink and shower water).
Black water generally can not be recycled, but you can make the most of your grey water. Grey water (from your sinks, clothes washer, shower, and bath tub) can be captured and reused in several ways.
Grey water that contains a lot of detergents or bleach can be used to water your foundation (recommended in extreme drought conditions to prevent cracking and settling of the house). It can also be used to flush a toilet or wash a car. It should NOT be used to water plants as heavy detergents and bleach can kill them.
Grey water without heavy detergents can be captured and used to water plants, gardens, flush the toilet, and more.
One easy way is to do your dishes in dishpans (a canner or large bowls work great also) set inside your sink. When finished, you can use the water to then mop your kitchen floor, wipe down tables and counters, give the dog a bath, flush toilets, and wash the car with it. Rinse water from one batch of dish washing can also be used as part of the soapy water for the next batch of dish washing, or dumped into the clothes washer for the next load of laundry.
If you are under a severe water restriction, take a short shower or shallow bath, and wash your hair in the sink. That generally uses less water as the water isn't left running as when we shower.
Container gardening and raised bed gardening do not require as much water as a traditional ground garden bed.
By using some of the above methods, our water bill has only gone up a few dollars despite having to water animals and 11 raised garden beds for the past 3 months of no rain.
Don't forget your animals should always have clean fresh water available at all times, especially during severe heat and drought conditions.
By mom-from-missouri from NW, MO
Capture shower or sink water that runs while you are waiting for it to get hot and use it to water plants, fill pet water dishes, flush toilets, etc. I also capture water used to wash fruit and produce.
This page is about conserving water in the garden. There are many ways to use less water on your garden, and still have a bountiful harvest.
This page is about conserving water at home. There are many simple ways to use less water.