Seems everyone out here in the desert is trying to go green and Mr and Mrs Juniorprof are no exception. We’ve already got our “green” car and we’re riding the bike to and from work. Yesterday, while I was hooping it up with some more senior colleagues (I should say I was raining 3’s on ’em), Mrs. Juniorprof went off to a water harvesting class at the local botanical garden. She came home with what sounded to me like an odd plan: to water the plants with water from the washing machine.
Yesterday afternoon we got a long pool drainage hose and a pipe clamp and took the washer drainage line out of the sewer line and placed this long (and cheap) hose on the end. Since the washer and dryer are already outside it was quite easy to run the hose over to a citrus tree. This morning we tried it out for the first time. To my amazement it worked quite well and an incredible amount of water came shooting out of the hose when the washer hit the spin cycle. The hose is long enough that we can move it from one tree (or cactus) to another between cycles and we can even hook it up to a water collection canister to save it for later. I’m quite impressed and would highly recommend this little technique to anyone wanting to save water (especially for those living in the desert). The people at the botanical garden insisted that neither washing detergent nor fabric softener is damaging to plants but they suggested that buying something biodegradable would make one feel more secure about the whole thing. Since we’d been doing that already, no worries on that front.
The next step for us is to figure out how to harvest the water off the roof during the coming monsoon season. Looks like I’ll be doing some gutter rearrangements in the near future so that we can put the water collection canister somewhere other than in the middle of the back yard.