Saturday, March 2, 2013

Using water TWICE!

Summer is right around the corner which means higher water bills. I've been setting aside the difference between my utilities and my assigned budget throughout the winter months while my bills are lower. I'll use the savings towards the higher bills this summer.

 I continue to catch the beginning water from the tap  while waiting for it to turn hot. I throw it on flower beds or use it to flush. I have a shallow container under the faucet in the bath and catch that water when we wash our hands. Any extra water is thrown into a nearby bucket.

I've carefully examined any chance of water waste.  One day I noticed how much water was flowing down the drain from the washing machine rinse water. I researched online to find out a way to capture the water and use it to water the flowers. I also emailed my city officials to make sure there was no ordinance against it in my city. Thankfully there wasn't.

A hole cutter was put on the end of the drill to make this hole in the wall.  (A jigsaw could also be used to cut a hole).   PVC  1 1/2 " pipe was used to drain the water from the washing machine hose to the water container outside.

You can see the drain coming out of the wall into the large garbage can below. A piece of rubber from a mud flap off an old truck was used to guide the water from the PVC pipe into the garbage can.

 It's not shown in this picture but a piece of stone was later put under the opposite side of the can so the rainwater will drain into the hole on top of the lid.

I picked up a free coffee table off of FREECYCLE a while back intending to use it for a stenciled sign (which never happened). The coffee table was cut down to make the smaller table fit for the garbage can.

A hose faucet with a 3/4 inch pipe-to-pipe fitting were used at the bottom of the can where a garden hose can be attached.  The hose can be moved to any area of the garden. I had to make sure that the hose was at a slant so it would drain easily.  The garbage can will not hold an entire washing cycle of water so be sure to have it ready to drain before you start your machine. 

 I did some research to make sure my homemade laundry detergent wouldn't kill plants. I read a good article on how homemade laundry detergent is  safe to use on plants. I'm choosing to not use it on my vegetable plants but only on my flowers. I've been using it for weeks and my flowers are doing just fine. Of course.. I'm not an expert so use your own judgment! I'm not sure if it would harm animals or no so be careful if your animals have access to the water. 

This water.. that would have gone down the drain... is now keeping the plants on the side of my house nice and wet and alive.