How to Reuse Household Water
Reusing gray water can be a good move for you and the environment, if it is done correctly and responsibly. Water used for daily household activities may be carrying grease, dead skin, food particles, and chemicals from toxic cleaners and detergents. Doesn't this mean that gray water pollutes?
When introduced to the soil, particularly the topsoil that is very biologically active, many of the substances in the recycled water are broken down by microorganisms, creating available nutrients for growing plants. The soil and plant roots serve to purify the water, to a point. The more organic matter in the soil, the more filtering power.
To recycle used household water use the 'least gray' water first, such as shower and bathtub water, followed by water from the bathroom sink. If your irrigating needs are not yet met, use water from the washing machine next, followed by water from the kitchen. Using natural cleansing supplies, such as natural oil-based soaps and homemade products will of course cut down on the toxins in your gray water. If using water from the kitchen sink or dishwasher, try and minimize the amount of grease and food particles that make it into your gray water supply. Never use laundry water if baby diapers are machine washed.
To move your recycled water to the garden for irrigation you can simply transfer the water by hand with buckets or a large basin. There are also irrigation systems that can be installed in your home by a professional plumber to carry gray water from sinks, the washing machine, or the bathtub to the landscape. Some of them are very simple, eco-friendly, and inexpensive.