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Even if you just use one source of greywater, and only in the summer, you are conserving.
A friend asked me why I use the condensate water from my a/c in my wash cycle - "because water is so cheap per gallon!"
Hey, a/c condensate is free, and there's no cheaper than free. All I have to do is bring in a bucket full when I load the washer.
And yes, I siphon out the greywater with an old hose to my grass, perennials, and other flowers. In a dry year, that little bit of water they get can mean the difference between coming back beautifully in the spring or croaking over the winter. And yes, trying to store it can get smelly quickly.
As a side note, I conduct an experiment with two buckets of water: One bucket is full of collected rainwater, the other condensate water. The intention was to let both buckets sit side by side in the sun for a week. Within 3 days the rainwater was showing mosquito larvae wigglers. I dumped it onto my compost, but left the condensate sit. It evaporated a little bit, but after 8 days still had no mosquito larvae.
I'm not sure why this happens; I have done this experiment each summer for years, and I don't know if there's something in the condensate that the skeeters don't like, or if there's something in the rainwater (dirt? pollen? Ph?) that they are attracted to.
Maybe someone who is more chemistry-oriented than I can explain why this happens?
Maybe more nitrate compounds and oxygen (for sure). Mosquitoes are probably susceptible to soaps, detergents, and other compounds contained in grey water; rainwater is their natural environment. I am no biochemist - just observed my own use of rainwater.
Condensate water doesn't contain detergents, soaps, dirt, or even chlorine. It should have a "normal" content of oxygen, as it is drawn from air. I understand the bugs' preference for rainwater - there is lots of microscopic life in it.
Even when there was no rainwater bucket (after I dumped it to kill the larvae) the mosquitoes stayed away from the condensate water, which certainly should have been "dirtier" as the week went on and some of it evaporated, and other insects fell into it and drowned.
Just some food for thought.
Hello SoooSirius I think I was wrong about the soap,etc. I don't think that phases mosquitoes. The condensate is very pure chemically, like distilled water. It would seem to have O2 from exposure, but I would bet it does not.
Kudus on your experimenting! More people ought to act on their curiosity. Have you noticed that you can water and water and your plants barely survive, but come a little shower - wow - look out! (this just happened to me,again, and I use rainwater exclusively)
I read somewhere, (probably on a weather site), that, just preceding a rain, the soil itself reacts to the increased humidity and lower air pressure to actually open up and move itself on a molecular level to RECEIVE water! Plants also do this, some more quickly than others, I'm certain. This is why, even though it seems contrary to do so, when the weather has been dry, water DURING one of those little showers if you're lucky to get one.
Unless we can figure out how to increase humidity and lower air pressure in our yards, then I'd say keep watering to sustain plants, but celebrate the Rain!