Saturday, August 2, 2008

Water Conservation

We have a 1/3 acre lot in the city limits. We have a lot of trees and landscaping, as well as a large vegetable garden. Our water bill runs about 55$+/mo in the summer which is terrible! I also always feel bad when I water the lawn, so I rarely do.

Since we live in Oregon, and we have abundant rainfall I have been thinking about a cistern. I've done tons of research online and have found other people in Oregon who have done the same thing. Apparently 1" of rain on a 1500 sf roof can equal about 500 gallons of water. I'm going to start doing some calculations to see how much water we really need to keep the entire 1/3 acre bright green all summer long. Then if we add a cistern or two, maybe we can limit our consumption from the area well and instead use something that is free for the taking.

Recently I watched these 2 movies that were about water and what the lack of water can do to your life. They are a story told in 2 parts, part one is Jean de Florette. Part two is Manon of the Spring. They're pretty tragic as stories go, but watching them did get me on the cistern track...

We're planning on putting new gutters in when we do our roof this fall, so I'm hoping that we can get city approval to add a cistern at the same time. We have the perfect area along the side of the house. It's completely obstructed from the street and will not take up any space that we currently use.

I've also been reading a lot about greywater. I sure hate wasting 55 gallons of water for every laundry load when my lawn right outside the laundry room is dry as a bone. More on that later as I make the switch to non-toxic laundry soap and get the pipe in. I think the city may veto that one, but since it will just run out the laundry room window part of the year, what they don't know won't hurt them. Especially since I will only use environmentally friendly laundry soap. What's the harm?

If anyone knows where there is a website that shows how to calculate water usage/ needs for landscaping and gardens please let me know where I can find it!! :)

I'll find some good cistern and greywater links and come back and post them.

In the meantime, happy Saturday to you!

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