Q: I was stranded because of the drought, and I could change my washing machine and use the gray water to water my trees. I am collecting my bath and shower water for use. Does it hurt to use this water on my trees?
A When trees are in a severe drought, any water is better than water. However, some soaps, shampoos, and soaps may contain excess salts or chemicals that may harm the soil biome and plants.
When using gray water, you need to choose the right soap and cleaning products to avoid damaging the environment and landscape plants and trees.
The University of California Publications recommends “Using Greeter in Urban Landscapes in California” when washing your laundry detergent and chlorine-based blush products.
They want to make sure that the hose is drained over a thick layer of water to prevent leakage, as gray water can harm the environment, people and pets.
Another advantage of using gray water from the washing machine is the back pressure on the washing machine pump. To reduce this, be sure to use a larger diameter pipe with more openings.
Collecting water in buckets or bottles while waiting for hot water is an easy way to save water while waiting for hot water. This is pure water and can be used to water any plant without worry.
However, if your home system uses a water purifier, be aware that some systems can add a lot of salt to the water during the water purification process. Over time, this can damage the soil, causing roots and water to seep into it.
Using the gray water from the washing machine, the shower or bath and sink is allowed in California, but gray water from the kitchen sink and sink is not allowed. This is because of the waste of harmful pathogens.
It is not recommended to water gray vegetables that may be contaminated with harmful compounds, chemicals or pathogens in the water.
For more information on gray water systems and designing your own system, read the University of California Gray Water Information at https://bit.ly/3DhQpfJ.
This publication provides good information on weekly irrigation requirements based on the size of the trees. This gray water is useful even for those who do not have a system and try to save water without damaging their landscape trees. For example, a 100-square-foot[100 sq m]canopy of trees in our area requires 62 gallons per week in our summer weather.
The Shasta Master Gardeners Program can be reached by phone at 242-2219 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. The Office of the Gardener is trained by volunteers trained at the University of California to answer gardeners’ questions using scientific research data.