leech lines and flower beds

Originally Posted by t-keela
I have some of my gray water run through a system of leech lines in the flower beds at home. The soapy water from the washing machine keeps the flowers watered and the bugs off.

(From this thread hijack)
http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?p=5220733#post5220733

Not that I can tell. Everything looks great. Like I said there are no bugs and the plants are absolutely healthy. I guess if there were high phospate levels in the soap it might be a problem. I use a pretty generic soap however and add compost and mulch the beds every year. Plus it’s not like I flood a small area with a lot of soapy water everday. I’ve got probably a hundred feet of line dispersing the water. I just used some 1 1/4" rolled black plastic pipe and drilled small holes every foot on the side near the beds. Covered them with a couple of inches dirt and mulch. Also the plants are very hardy naturally (ie: 4 o-clocks and cannas… some climbing roses and the like)
The soil is mostly sand beneath the compost so it probably helps reduce the acidity. I’ve got a lot of pine trees. The straw makes excellent mulch in some cases.
If you want to know anything else I/M just ask.
I’ve got about a half acre of flowers and stuff here that my wife and I landscaped together in the last 5 years. I hate to see it go to waste.

Certainly an innovative GQ format. :wink:

Flowers are one thing, what about a veggie garden? Assuming some “non-toxic, biodegradable” sope is used, can anyone tell if Laundry gray water would have any affect on my watermelons apart from making them huge and, uh, watery?

Inigo - using recycled water for edible foods is not unheard of, but using the water directly from your washing machine is not advisable. ‘They’ sell softeners and filters for recycling water for use on lawns and gardens. I have a Dolphin Filter for our watering system at our home in Arizona, where recycling water for your yard is a common practice. However, up here in CT, I would not have a use for recycling the water from my drains for our gardens or Lawn because we get plenty of rain. I am a huge advocate for recycling everything, but up here where water is a renewable commodity, I find little reason to do so.

Again, look into recycling water filters and or softeners before using water from your washing machine directly on gardens where you will be eating the fruits of your labor.

What :confused:
It’s better than the total hijack we were about to do I reckon.
Not arguing w/ya Phl but there’s a lot of “trash” that comes through the washing machine that’d plug up a filter quick. A series of filters would probably be required. A large particle filter would be necessary for sure. There’s a lot of lint and hair especially that’ll build up quick. The smaller particles dirt, sand, odd pieces of this and that would require a small particle filter. Then a purifying filter last would clean the impurities/toxins etc. that could be potentially harmful if eaten.
I think I’d pass on the idea myself. I’ve got a cistern and shallow well setup for the vegetable garden. I’ve been looking for an affordable windmill but so far I haven’t had much luck. I’m seriously considering trying my hand at making one. It can’t be that hard to do. Hell, they’ve been around “forever”.
BTW I put my well in with a high pressure sprayer and some 2" sc40 pvc. 30’ deep and will flow at about 25-30gal/minute. With a 700gal storage tank beside it I can get a lot of water quick if need be. I’ve got a 220 gal tank to set on a platform when I get the windmill.
I’m planning on a sprinkler system for the lawn and an “emergency flood” line in case I get a fire in my pines out front of the house. I’ve already built a 2’ firewall from hadite blocks all the way across the front of the house separating it from the woods and up the drive a couple of hundred feet. I’ve planted a thick green lawn between the wall and the house as well. One of the flood lines is already setup on the tree side of the wall. I can inundate a 4’ wide stream of water the length of the wall in about 5 minutes. I don’t expect that I can completely put a big fire out but hopefully slow it down long enough.
Water is our friend… :wink:
If I keep the place…I hope to start on my fish farm soon.

Phl I apologize for implying you weren’t up on this. I read the damned post and I guess it went in one ear and out the other. Too damned many things on my mind right now. :smack:

uh Inigo… yeah what he said.

[arrant pedantry] It’s “leach” (To dissolve out by the action of percolating liquid) not “leech” (n. Any if numerous carnivorous or bloodsucking usu. freshwater annelid worms; vt. to bleed by the use of leeches)[/arrant pedantry]

Now go ahead and hate me.

Webster’s gives

  1. leach var of LEECH, def- to drain the substance of

I understand this is probably not the common spelling when referring to leach lines. Damn, I’m not so perfect after all. :frowning:

damn nitpickers…You’d think they could handle bugs in their hair once in awhile.
BTW I’ve actually seen a few leeches when dealing with some septic systems :eek: so there

Say that again and I don’t hate you. :wink:

For the empiric in 'ya, here’s a somewhat relevant data point:

My parents used to use a couple of sections of downspout to direct their laundry water around the backyard. Most of the water was used for two huge fig trees. I’m sure that a tree trunk is a more effective filter than a watermelon stem, but the trees gave incredible yields of great tasing figs.