What Is Greywater And What Are Its Benefits?

By on Jan 4, 2016 in Water Harvesting |

Simply put, greywater is waste water that is produced from lavatory sinks, clothes washers, showers and baths. It accounts for about 50%-80% of the water that is consumed in households. That is a lot of water that can help reduce strain on water systems. If used as an alternative source of water, greywater requires minimal treatment which in most cases only involves filtration. Some commercial filtration systems go the extra mile and chlorinates the greywater with the sole aim of killing microbes. Whether or not it’s intended for reuse, greywater should be filtered out of pipes as it can easily clog them. The main difference between rainwater and greywater is that while greywater accounts for household water waste, rainwater is very pure. Greywater is a very effective solution for parties concerned with sustainable development and green construction. Less strain on treatment plant or septic tank: The use of greywater helps to extend the lifespan of septic tanks and ultimately its capacity. It also leads to less waste flow to treatment plants thus making them more effective and less costs. Sites that are unsuitable for septic tanks: Sites that exhibit certain characteristics like slow soil percolation are not ideal for septic tanks. Such sites can benefit greatly from use of greywater whose system is less costly to engineer. Reclamation of wasted nutrients: Disposal of wastewater in oceans or rivers leads to soil erosion and ultimately loss of nutrients. Greywater can be used to reclaim the nutrients lost this way and thus help to maintain the fertility of the land. Reduces the use of fresh water: Greywater can be used in place of fresh water and as such, can be used to increase water supply in areas where it’s really needed like irrigation schemes. With the exception of toilet water, all residential water can be recycled and used for both indoor and outdoor uses. Highly effective purification: Greywater is highly purified in the upper region of the soil that is most active biologically. This purification helps to preserve the natural quality of the surface and the ground waters. Less chemical and energy use: Reduced amount of wastewater and freshwater that requires treatment and pumping reduces significantly. Those who produce their own electricity and water accrue the benefit of reduced infrastructure costs while those who treat wastewater under their fruit trees are encouraged to pump less toxic wastes down the drain. Growth of plants: In areas where water is not available, using greywater helps the landscape to flourish thus growth of plants. How to make a safe, ecological and legal suburban home graywater system To learn more about water resource utilization along with land management and rehabilitation, enroll at Open permaculture school and regenerative leadership...

Various ways to harvest water

By on Jan 4, 2016 in Permaculture, Water Harvesting |

Harvesting water is one of the good ways to relieve the pressure on the existing water resource and lower the cost of buying water for domestic and commercial use. Types of water harvesting There are three main types of water sources for harvesting namely: 1. Rainwater harvesting This is a method for inducing, collecting storing and conserving surface runoff. Water can be collected from courtyards, rooftops and similarly compacted surfaces. There is also the micro-catchment water harvesting where the water is collected from the surface runoff from a small catchment area and have it stored in an infiltration basin. The basin can be planted with annual crops or a tree. There is also the macro-catchment water harvesting, also called the external catchments. In Macro-catchment, run-off from hill-slope catchments is the conveyed to an area with crops at the foot of the hill or a flat terrain below.  2. Floodwater harvesting Floodwater harvesting is the collection and storage of water from the creek flow and then diverted to the garden for irrigation. This kind of harvesting is also known as large catchment water harvesting. It is done in one of the two ways below. You can have floodwater harvesting within streambed where water flow is dammed and inundates the bottom valley of the flood plain. Water is the forced to infiltrate, and the wetted area is used for agricultural purposes.  3. Terracing If your land is on a hill, water normally cascades straight off it and finds its way down before it can sink into the soil. You can slow the flow of the water by cutting stair-stepped terraces into the hill. A wall of stone can then support each step of the terrace. The terraces at as storage facilities for the ground runoff over the hill. The water forms a lens over time as it moves down. Plants reach the lens and can remain green during the dry season. Rain barrel and cisterns Rain barrels are underground water storage for excess water that your earthworks cannot handle. The barrel has fittings to enable you to use the water for your garden any time that you need. Cisterns and barrels stored water can also be used for flushing the toilet. Ensure that the piping system is well attached and a pump in place if you are pumping water from below the ground. It is important to harvest as much rainwater as possible. Savings on water bills cover the cost of the facilities after a period. To learn more visit regenerative leadership...