According to a recent article in Bionews-TX.com, Texans could soon be using graywater – the “soapy” water that has been run through a washing machine or used in bathtub, bathroom sink shower – to keep up their home landscapes.
Current estimates suggest that the average household uses 50 to 60% of its total freshwater consumption for landscape maintenance and that the average family of four produces about 90 gallons of graywater per day.
With these numbers in mind, researchers at Texas A&M have been documenting the effects of different kinds of graywater on landscape plants. The tests have involved running washing machine loads with detergent alone, detergent and fabric softner, and detergent and bleach and then using the wastewater to irrigate such popular Texas ornamentals as holly, yucca and agave.
So far, the results – based on primarily on visual inspections – have been mostly promising. Only a few plants treated with graywater containing bleach in the recommended amounts for laundry have shown signs of yellowing and/or reduced flowering.
This is excellent news for drought-stricken Texas. If a graywater plan goes into effect within the next few years, it could reduce household landscape freshwater use by as much as 25% or more. This would mean a huge water savings for the state overall and would contribute significantly to the conservation goals of the Texas 2012 Water Plan.
At South Austin Irrigation, we believe that it’s vital to stay informed about Texas water news. Even the smallest changes in water service could have a big impact on our clients and the watering systems they use to maintain their lawns and gardens. When you need irrigation sales and repair service from experts in the know, contact us!