Drastic Times Bring Drastic Measures!
I bought a rain barrel a long time ago. I thought I could use it to collect the rain and water my yard between rains. That in theory was supposed to save money. Well, I'm in Texas, and if you haven't already heard...there is a drought in Texas. I'm not getting the use out of my rain barrel that I hoped I would. There is another option though...
You see there is this term: "grey water", it is the water that comes from your washing machine, that can be recycled. It isn't water that you can drink, but it is usable water. This drought is horrible, it is supposed to make it into the record books. We have been advised to water our foundations with soaker hoses, which I did, but my water bill is going up. Now we have been asked to conserve water (and electricity), so here is where the rain barrel comes in. I have a 57 gallon rain barrel, it looks like this:
My washing machine uses a little over 40 gallons of water each time I wash clothes, and that water goes down the drain. It is water that I can use. It is ridiculous that I'm waiting for rain that isn't coming to collect water to use (not on my grass, on my FOUNDATION). I talked to my husband about how the city is dealing with 1,000 water leaks a day, and how we could conserve water. I also talked to my sister (she is frugal too), and she is noticing the effects of the drought on her home as well. Well one thing led to another and now my rain barrel is in my garage collecting the grey water from my washing machine. The spout on the rain barrel at the bottom has a male part, so I connected my water hose directly to it, and it waters my foundation and yard each time I do a load of laundry.
It isn't as productive as using a water sprinkler, but it is helping me maintain my water bill, and helping me take care of my home. I never would have thought at the time that I bought the rain barrel that it would be used this way, but it is getting the job done!