"And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress and keep it". Genesis 2:15

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Our Laundry to Landscape Greywater Project, Part 2

We have finished our Laundry to Landscape Greywater Project! It has been operational for a few weeks now and we are very happy with it. Click here to see part one of this post. Part one also has the link to the plans that we used.

Picture of the out-side part of the setup. You can see where the hole was drilled into the brick in the wall of our laundry room. This contraption allows air to escape the system, and has a back flow valve to keep dirty laundry water from going back into my washer. It also has a spot where you can hook in your regular garden hose into the system. (Part one shows the inside part of the system. The inside part has a valve that lets us direct the water into the sewer or out to the garden.)

The PVC pipe goes off to the left and meets up with a flexible water line at the fence line.

Mulch basin, empty. Garry is positioning an awl to drill a pilot hole in the water line. Once the water line is drilled, the white flower pot you see will have two large holes drilled into it to receive the water line. Water will drip out the small hole in the water line into the mulch basin - the whole thing will be covered over with mulch. The flower pot keeps the water line up out of the dirt and mulch, so that the hole does not get clogged.

Drilling the hole in the water line. The fig tree that we are trying to water is on the right. You can see the terrible soil we have to deal with!

Drilling large holes in flower pot.

Sliding the last few pots onto the water line. This water line goes on into the vegetable garden which you can barely see in the background. It branches out into two lines and feeds a series of mulch basins in the vegetable garden. I water about a third of the garden with soaker hose for root crops.

Finished and ready for the mulch. I knew I was saving all those flower pots for some good purpose!

Pressurizing and testing out the system with the garden hose. Success!

We ran a load of laundry and you can see that the bottom of the hole is getting wet. The mulch will absorb this water and hold on to it for the plants roots. The bacteria in the soil and mulch will kill all the germs.

We are very happy with the system and will start using it just about every day, as needed, now that the dry season is upon us. We will have to change over from a once-a-week laundry day to an as-needed laundry system, but I think that wont be too hard. 

If you are in a similar dry area and have expensive city water, you might want to give this greywater project a try. All the kudos to my handy-man Hubby!


  1. Really cool idea! Thanks for sharing.

  2. "You can see the terrible soil we have to deal with!" There's no such thing as terrible soil, just bad soil management. No need to go as far as analysing your soil and treating it (although that would help), simply employ Permaculture techniques of mulching which will help your soil retain moisture thereby encouraging friendly bacteria and earthworms to the surface. These (among a myriad other beneficial soil organisms) will radically change your soil profile so that within weeks your soil will become rich and moist. This will also allow the mycelium to return to it's place in the natural order. Your quote from Genesis is appropriate, but never forget that God intended us to be 'caretakers'... in other words we are supposed to *listen* to the Earth and learn from the subtle processes that we might never come to understand... Enjoy... ')

  3. Yes, well we have to deal with what we found here to begin with, which is clay imported by the builders, and I suspect the previous owners used this spot to dump clay cat litter for years. We have been slathering compost on the garden and have seen big improvement, but we never seem to have enough organic matter to put on it. The sun here is so intense, the mulch we apply disappears in no time. I would love to have some chickens or something to provide the missing link (animal manure) to make out composting go better. The extra water is definitely helping.