Smart Irrigation Month Part 3: Recycling and Harvesting Water

800px-Decorative_Watering_Can_(6320014343)The most efficient way to conserve water is to harvest or recycle it, which entails capturing rainwater or reusing water for the purpose of irrigating a lawn and/or garden. One inch of rain on a 1,000 square foot roof can collect approximately 600 gallons. Harvesting systems can be complex or simple depending on how much water is desired and what sort of investment the homeowner is willing to make. Fortunately, harvesting and recycling water is a very simple concept and anyone can start doing it with little or no investment at all.

Ways to Recycle and Harvest Water

The easiest way to recycle water is to reuse water that you would normally dump down the drain. Any water that you cook with, such as pasta water or water to blanch veggies can be used in the garden or in potted plants once it has cooled. If you turn on hot water and wait for it to heat up, save the cooler water that comes out first in a pitcher or receptacle. It can even be as simple as watering plants with glasses or bottles of water left out.

A greywater system captures water that is used in the home from sinks and showers to be used later in irrigation. These systems can be expensive depending on their size and how complex the filtration system is. Greywater systems also require only certain types of soaps and cleaners be used in the home, so are usually best left to the most serious water conservationists.

Harvesting water from rainfall is another way to use what is available. These systems can be as simple as a barrel at the base of the gutter spout or a complex series of holding vessels, filters and pumps. It all depends on what the water will be used for. If it is to be used for irrigating a garden, a covered can or barrel will suffice. There are ready made containers or you can easily build one yourself.

Make the Choice to Save Water

Whether you go for a complex rain harvesting and irrigation system or simply use the spaghetti water to feed the window herb garden, being conscious of water usage can go a long way in helping to save money and resources. If you would like to chat about water saving ideas for your home and are curious about how All Oregon Landscaping can help, feel free to send us an email. For other water-saving ideas see our previous Smart Irrigation Month posts:

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