Rainwater and Grey Water Harvesting for Irrigation


Water harvesting for landscape irrigation

This is an excellent way to conserve our drinking water. After all, does it really make sense to use drinking water to water the landscape? Up to 70% of residential water use goes to landscape irrigation. It only makes sense to consider other sources of water for landscape irrigation.

Sources of water for landscape irrigation.

Sources of water for landscape irrigation include: domestic drinking water supplied by a water district, ground water from a well, lake or stream water, reclaimed water, rainwater, and grey water. For the purposes of this article we will be looking at using rainwater or grey water as a source for landscape irrigation. Both of these are excellent sources for water harvesting for landscape irrigation but they both come with technical challenges, which must be overcome.

Rainwater for landscape irrigation

At first glance this would seem to be the easiest and most logical source to tap for water harvesting for your landscape. Unfortunately, the biggest problem is that the rain occurs when you don’t need to water so you have to find a way to store it until it is needed. We tend to think of large water tanks but plants in nature have been doing this their own way all along. We should start looking at how we can help them with this process instead of evaluating water harvesting based on the size of a water storage tank.

Let’s look at how we can make the whole landscape become part of the water harvesting storing, and dispersing system. After all, collecting rainwater is only part of the process for water harvesting. You want to do something with the rainwater you have collected. The Flotender System takes rainwater and delivers it right to the root zone of your plants. In a sense it’s just like concentrated rainwater. It doesn’t get lost to evaporation or runoff. Instead it goes right to the root zone of your plants for deep watering of the roots.
So when it rains the water is collected and concentrated and delivered right to your plants. Even a light rain, that would normally not make much of a difference, is now effective for watering your plants with the Flotender system.

Eventually even if your plants have good root systems developed, you may need to water them during the summer. You can then use your domestic water with the drip system you have in place, and you will be assured that even if you are using drinking water, at least it will be used effectively.

Grey water for landscape irrigation

Grey water makes the most sense for water harvesting for landscape irrigation because it is a year around source of water. As long as people are occupying the building, grey water will be produced. There are lots of sources for grey water but we will just consider showers, baths, and washing machines because the grey water they generate is the safest for landscape irrigation. The problem is that it contains very fine debris that must be filtered before the pump and especially before it can be pumped through a drip irrigation system.

The filtering system is critical for a grey water landscape irrigation system! Not only must it filter out the fine particles so the pump and the drip emitters won’t clog up, the filters also need to be conveniently serviced. All filters eventually clog up so the system needs to be designed and engineered so that the filter changing process can be accomplished with a reasonable effort. The filters can’t be so small that they need to be changed too often. The filter changing process also has to be designed in such a way so that when the filters are being changed debris won’t get into the system.

Drip irrigation makes the most sense when using grey water for landscape irrigation. Since it is grey water, it should be applied right to the soil and not sprayed around into the air. Drip irrigation is also the most efficient form of landscape irrigation so your grey water will be able to water more plants with drip irrigation than with other forms of irrigation.

The efficient use of our resources

When we start using rainwater and grey water for landscape irrigation we will cut down on the need to build new infrastructure – both domestic water systems and storm water systems. It makes much more sense to manage the water wisely onsite than to spend time and resources delivering it and disposing of it through public systems. We will all benefit by having better landscapes around our homes and commercial buildings – landscapes that not only provide the benefits of nature but also manage our rainwater and our grey water. We invite you to consider the Flotender system for your water harvesting for landscape irrigation needs.