California Drought and Greywater Usage Update

by Rebecca Simpson on November 8, 2015

I love me a hot bath more than just about anything. But as a drought-striken Californian, that is a luxury I’ve had to forego for the last few years.

Last week, I sustained a significant shoulder injury.  I was so sad. Until I heal, I can’t dig ponds, build fences, clean, and lift, like I was looking forward to doing all winter. Total bummer.

But today something awesome happened! I’ve been coming along nicely on my greywater system, using laundry water to irrigate the landscaping and plunging my family’s water usage to a record low of 62 gallons per person per day. ( This month’s total bill from the water company was $54.26) Since I had most of the grey water plumbing rigged, it was simple matter to run a pump to the bathtub so I could take a therapeutic soak for my shoulder and afterwards pump the water to the garden.

Long story short, though being injured caused a surprise change of plans, it also set me on a new path. With careful management, I can now reuse even more grey water from both the laundry and from baths/showers. I think that is a win-win.

Sometimes in setbacks there are hidden victories. I’ll keep you posted.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Dan L November 9, 2015 at 10:16 am

suburbanstoneage.com tells me that there are two comments on this blog entry, and show me the form where I can post a new one, but I cannot see the 2 comments that are already present. The problem is the same in internet explorer, firefox and safari.

Same with other entries on this blog: the count of comments is reported, but the comments themselves cannot be seen. No opportunities for wordpress user login or authentication seem to be provided.

Might be a problem on your end 🙂

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Rebecca Simpson November 9, 2015 at 12:20 pm

Hi Dan!

Thanks for the heads up. I noticed this last night as I replied to your comment. I am working on it, hopefully will get it fixed!

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Dan L November 8, 2015 at 11:52 am

.. and bathwater is so much easier to process than washing water, having much less fibrous debris. If you were to sanitize it after you used it with a little chlorine bleach, you could use it for almost anything after you stepped out of it.

Do you have a secondary reservoir from which you use your gray water, or do you use it immediately the gray water is generated? For example, I have a trash can that I use for my washing water before I apply it to what needs it.

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Rebecca Simpson November 8, 2015 at 3:09 pm

Hi! For my grey water from the washing machine, I have it first flow into a trash can. From there I pump it to which ever area of the garden needs to be irrigated. For the bath water, I as this was a therapeutic soak and a test, I did not use soap and pumped it directly into the landscaping. I feel I need to fine tune the process, for example finding a soap I feel comfortable putting in my soil, but I’m going to keep working at it. I’d eventually like to capture everyone’s bath water, not just mine.

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