About Grey Water Gardens
Grey water gardens are a new advancement in landscape irrigation that many feel could well be the wave of the future in gardening. A system of carefully placed pipes and irrigation tunnels, these systems are intended to provide gardens with water that has already been used rather than purer fresh water (white water) but is not quite as filled with contaminants as less fresh water, hence the term grey water.
Though many people may find this a strange idea on its surface to recycle less than ideal water, with the increasing global prevalence of droughts, such as the one in California and the American Southwest, and the increasingly difficult political situations behind the acquisition of clean water, many gardeners are finding that recycling grey water is an ideal solution to their water issues, particularly as white water becomes ever more expensive and hard to obtain. Some gardeners have even found they have no choice as local water regulations intended to deal with very long term droughts make it impossible for them to garden with white water like they used to in years past.
These systems do require a great deal of forethought, however. The pipes and irrigation systems that recycle used but not entirely dirty water can take some planning to install, ideally done by a professional, though some truly dedicated do it yourselfers can and have done it on their own. These systems must account for a number of factors, including the type of earth in the garden, the natural plane inclination of the garden’s land and the type of plants being grown in the garden. Additionally, finding a good source of grey water is essential, as not all types of recycled water are actually good for plants and some forms of recycled water are downright dangerous to plants and humans alike.
Of course, the benefits of these gardens are quite important to note as well, difficulty of setting them up aside. Water that passes through layers of either granulated rock or sand is somewhat purged of contaminants the way commercial water filters use charcoal to catch and filter contaminants in drinking water. From there, benign bacteria and other microorganisms feed on the carbon and pathogens, leaving behind nothing but water, carbon dioxide and other insolubles. However, this water is only mostly purged of pollutants, and it is not recommended that garden water all plants with grey water. There is a contamination risk of watering fruits and vegetables intended to be consumed with this water.