Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Don't Do As I Do

This is not a sanitary idea and most likely isn't legal so I can't recommend it to anyone but...my baby mesquite tree was looking very sad. No new growth at all this spring and the few leaves that were left from last year were turning yellow and falling off. I was hoping that my baby trees would be established enough this year so that they wouldn't need extra water but nope, they aren't big enough yet. Since I don't have a lot of extra water to spare (I rely on rainwater for everything except drinking and cooking water) I decided to unhook my RV drain so that my grey water (water from the sinks and shower) goes to my Mesquite tree.

I've been doing this for a week now and today I noticed many, many new leaves sprouting all over it.

I am glad. I was afraid it was dying. Well, I guess it was dying.

What makes this an unsanitary set up is that the grey water and black water (for the toilet) share an outlet hose. I have the black water tank closed and I only have to empty it once a month. It will be simple to hook the hose back up to the septic outlet for that chore. The bacteria that does escape out on to the soil when I disconnect it again probably won't live very long. After all, it is supposed to be 100 degrees here tomorrow. They say that grey water shouldn't be used for fruit trees. I suppose that is because fruit can fall on the ground and get dirty. My Mesquite will be a shade tree when it grows up so I don't see a problem.

I fastened a crude cover for the drain out of window screen so that nothing can decide to crawl up it.

I keep all the plugs for the inside drains closed just in case. I suppose ants could still get up the drain if they really wanted to. When the temps get over 100 critters start getting desperate for water. Who knows what they will do.

Anyway, that is my desperate attempt to revive my baby tree. I bought these trees through my local electric company. They have a program which provides shade trees at a discount rate to help lower electric bills. My Desert Willow and Ironwood are doing well with the occasional bucket of laundry water. I can't wait to see what color my Desert Willow flowers are. Maybe in a month it will give me a clue. Whatever permanent habitation I end up putting on my property, whether it be site built, manufactured, or just rehabing the old mobile home, I definitely want to have a grey water system so that I can grow my own desert oasis with very little water.


Over the Cubicle Wall said...

Practically speaking, it is likely harmless, but two hoses would most likely make it legal with only gray water going on the ground in one, and toilet waste going to septic in the other. Here it would for sure, but it depends on your local laws.

Hope your trees make it.

Daizy said...

That still leaves a shared outlet pipe in the RV. I'm not worried about it. I'll try not to make mud pies near the tree. :P