Loren Luyendyk from Santa Barbara Organics talks about water.
– How you can use swales to redirect water on your property and also to encourage water that might otherwise flow away, taking topsoil with it to sink into the soil.
– Mulching to help retain water in the soil.
– Collecting rain water and storing it in tanks, in plants on your land and in manmade ponds
– Greywater – Use water more than once. Really easy set-ups and more complicated ones.
– Blackwater (sewage) – Treating the sewage with vegetation. Gives a reed bed example,
– Flowforms to oxygenate water
This is a great talk by Laura Allen (here walking us through her home humanure system) and Gregory Bullock about setting up a home graywater system.
“Greywater (water that comes from sinks, showers, and washing machines) turns wasterwater and its nutrients into irrigation water, saving time, money, and fresh drinking water. Whats more plants love it, especially fruit trees, berries and vines. Last year California rewrote its greywater code, making simple greywater reuse legal and affordable. Learn the why and hows of greywater reuse, and how to transform your household plumbing into a greywater irrigation system.”
They are in California so some of the impacts, positive and negative, that they talk about here focus on that state, but the issues are similar everywhere.
The talk covers really important Dos and Don’ts. Some topics mulch and mulch basins as filters, choosing good soaps and cleaners to use in your home if you are going to set up a graywater system, how to set up plumbing for the system (they look at a system that uses the pump on the washing machine as its driver), costs, types of crops it is suitable to irrigate (apparently root crops are out but it’s fine for “fruit” and leaf crops.
Laura Allen shows us her composting toilet system. She is using a toilet that separates urine and feces, with feces being deposited into bins under her house. From there she dumps it into a sealed compost bin for a year, after which it has broken down into an inoffensive compost that she uses in her garden.
On the tour of her bathroom, she also mentions that her bathroom sink directly waters plants in her garden with its greywater (since it’s a sink, in this case, greywater is likely soapy water).
I understood that the composting process breaks down any pathogens that might be in the feces, but wondered whether substances like any drugs the person may have been taking would remain.
I also would have loved to see where the urine was diverted and what she did with it.