Gardening expert Reg Kidd is calling on Orange residents to become grey nomads, without leaving town.
Cr Kidd, the Orange mayor, said you can supplement the limited availability of water due to the current Level 5 restrictions, by using grey water.
That's the water from your washing machine, showers, baths and basins.
You can move it to the garden without damaging your plants and shrubs.
However, he said grey water was not suitable for all garden uses as it contains some bacteria, detergents, cleaning agents and waste material.
Check out these handy tips in the latest of our water wise series of articles.
WHAT TO DO
- Only use waste water from baths, showers, handbasins and washing machines (preferably the final rinse water)
- Only apply enough water that the soil can absorb
- Wash your hands after watering with grey water
- Stop using grey water during wet periods
- Stop using if odours appear and plants don't look healthy
WHAT NOT TO DO
- Do not water vegetable gardens if the crop is eaten raw or uncooked
- Don't use grey water that has faecal contamination
- Avoid kitchen waste water, including from the dishwasher, due to the high concentration of food waste and chemicals that are not readily broken down by soil organisms
- Do not store grey water for more than 24 hours
- If you are using grey water from your washing machine use a washing powder low in sodium (salt) and phosphorous (P) and that is PH (acid or alkaline) neutral.
- Liquid detergents are best in this regard.
- Use fresh water on the garden where you are using grey water every now and again to prevent a build up of salts and other nutrients present in the grey water
- Apply grey water onto mulch at the base of the plant and not on the foliage
- Grey water diverters and filtering systems are available (contact plumbing supplier or council for irrigation specialists).
- Most elaborate grey water systems will include a clearly-marked tank that regulates flow into the garden. However, these are not storage tanks and should be emptied as soon as possible.
- Also consider using grey water diverting systems. Some can treat and store grey water and use it as a long term resource but not for human consumption.
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