GardeningGreen Living

Gray Water System

Here in the desert southwest city of Tucson, Arizona our average rainfall is supposed to be about 12 inches with 7 of that falling in July, August, September, and October. But we have been in a drought, and so far we are way under in rain (less than 3 inches at my house since the beginning of the year).

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Tucson allows us to put in gray water systems, where the water from tub/shower, bathroom sink and washing machines can be run directly into the garden or into holding tanks. We have started running piping from one of the bathtub to some trees, as well as the washing machine water.

We will be adding rainfall catch and the house gray water to holding tanks that we hope to put in soon. The water from rain is already directed to basins around trees and rain gardens. Once we are done, we can opt to have it inspected, and if it passes we can get a tax deduction.

By Mary Ross from Tucson, AZ

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August 19, 20090 found this helpful

I have never heard of a system like that. I'm from the north, and we get lots of rain so I guess that is why. we do, however save as much rainwater we can with rain barrels and eaves.

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I do several things for my home gray water though. I have a gallon jug with the top cut out of it I keep in my sink. All the extra water used in the kitchen goes into that jug and I dump it into my watering pails on the deck several times a day. I also use the water collected from my dehumidifier and dump it into the washer to use for washing clothes. In the humid weather I can get a couple gallons in a 24 hour period. (most people just hook it up to their sump pump hole and drain it away).

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August 24, 20090 found this helpful

That's awesome. We, as a global community, waste too much of our precious water. Good for you!

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August 25, 20090 found this helpful

I live in Tucson too, as a new resident. My house is built on a concrete slab and I'm guessing there is no way to direct bath/laundry water out of the house to where I need it.

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After reading your post I'm going to see if we could at least direct the downspout water to the trees.

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