Landscape2 1024x492 - Greywater
An orchard thriving on greywater.

What is greywater?

Greywater is gently-used water from bathtubs, showers and laundry that can be recaptured and used to water your garden. It typically accounts for 50-80% of a household’s waste stream. Plants love it, and it is perfectly legal in the state of California!

What are the economic advantages?

Saves Water and Money: our systems typically save a household 10,000 to 50,000 gallons per year. Some installations can pay for themselves within a few years.

Saves Your Septic System: if your house is on a septic tank, a greywater system is your best friend! Diverting water from showers, tubs and washing machines will reduce the load on your septic tank by 50-80%. This helps avoid problems such as dreaded tank overflows, and reduces the cost and frequency of maintenance. Give your septic tank a break with greywater!

Reduces Load on Sewer Systems: that means lower sewage fees for you, and less sewage going to to the ocean.

What are the practical advantages?

Some of these come with economic advantages (lowers your air conditioning and food costs), but we’re not going to split hairs:

Boosts Plant Growth: watch your garden come alive with abundant greywater! The sheer volume of water alone will make your plants thrive in the SoCal sun. Greywater also contains a wealth of micro-nutrients to further nourish your yard. One class of nutrients found in greywater is organic matter such as skin cells. Another is phosphorous, found in most soaps and commonly used as a fertilizer.

Boosts Crop Yields: for the reasons listed above, greywater will make your crops bear fruit like never before! And there is no need to worry about using “icky” greywater on food. Plants use

greywater system landscaping irrigation
Sustainable greywater garden.

Reduces Energy Footprint: recycling greywater replaces fresh water that the state pumps hundreds of miles from the Colorado or Sacramento rivers at a huge material and ecological cost.

certain elements found in greywater, such as phosphorous and nitrogen, after microbes in the soil have broken them down. Plants obtain these elements from manure in the same way. An apple tree fertilized by manure does not produce apples full of manure. By the same logic, crops grown on greywater do not contain “dirty” greywater. They contain components found in greywater that plants can absorb after microbes in the soil have broken them down.

 

Creates A Cool Micro-Climate: abundant greywater will create a permanent oasis around your home. The daily flow of water will keep your landscaping from become arid. It will also promote the rapid growth of shade trees, which lower temperatures by providing shade and through evapotranspiration, and have been found to lower airconditioning costs in detached houses by 20-30%. In addition, plant cover prevents the ground from absorbing too much heat. Many “sustainable” alternatives to lawns, such as gravel, pavement or turf, do exactly the opposite, absorbing the sun’s rays to create an oven effect.

What are the environmental advantages?

Greywater travels through aquifer
The path from “dirty” greywater to clean groundwater in your local aquifer.

Preserves Aquatic Ecosystems: ecosystems such as lakes, rivers and wetlands need water to survive. Reducing our water use is the only way to preserve these invaluable natural assets.

Replenishes Local Aquifers: greywater your plants do not absorb will slowly percolate through the ground, where layers of soil and microbes filter and purify it before it ends up in local aquifers. Healthy local aquifers feed deep-rooted trees, aquatic systems and other forms of life, helping provide a pleasant and hospitable local environment.

Heals the Bay: reducing your household waste stream means less sewage goes to the ocean. It also means that the phosphorous found in most soaps, which serves as a fertilizer for your plants, won’t end up in the ocean as well, where it causes harmful red tide algae blooms. This is especially important in large urban areas like Los Angeles, where millions of homes create massive volumes of sewage every day.

Types of greywater systems

Laundry to Landscape: this type of system uses your washing machine’s internal discharge pump to distribute water throughout the yard. A diverter valve behind the washing machine directs water to either the landscape (normal use) or to the sewer (if for example you are running a load with bleach). A standard washing machine pump provides enough pressure to run the water good distances horizontally and even slightly uphill. 

Branched Drain: these systems rely on gravity to distribute water through a yard. A diverter valve in the crawl-space or basement re-routes greywater from one or more fixtures (showers, baths, and sinks) out to the yard. There, the systems splits into progressively smaller branches, irrigating up to 8 basins.

Pumped Systems: pumped systems use an external pump to distribute greywater throughout your garden. They have the potential to do everything that a traditional zoned, valved irrigation system can do. These systems can range from simple pumped branched-drain models, to more complex systems. We have experience incorporating a vast array of features, such as self-cleaning filters, rainwater sensors and automatic makeup water if not enough greywater is generated in a day. If desired, we can build these systems to supply drip irrigation lines, and even sprinklers. The sky (and your budget) is the limit!

Laundry to landscape greywater system
Laundry to landscape system.
branched drain greywater system diagram
Branched drain system.

Get your own system

Each project is unique, so we start with a phone call or email exchange to learn about your needs and discuss the best type of system for your situation. We are more than happy to talk about your options and find a system tailored to your needs. So… CLICK HERE TO GET STARTED RIGHT AWAY!

The Greywater Corps Guarantee

We stand by all of our installations by offering repair and maintenance services at any time. We aim to build relationships that last as long as our systems do!

Furthermore, we guarantee to meet the highest standards of work both outside and inside of your home. We are licensed contractors and architects with nearly a decade of experience building these systems. When we are done, everything will look the same except for your water bill. Our greywater systems are practically invisible except for the results: a thriving, beautiful, sustainable oasis!