Saturday 13 July 2013

Lifegiving water!

Lost a follower, sorry to see you go!

Despite a wet spring and early summer, for the last couple of weeks, there has been no rain. Our water butts, which were full and holding somewhere around 2200 litres, are almost empty.

Before we went on a water meter, I would have just got the hose out (and may need to do so if things continue). We share our bathwater and bathe several times a week plus other sink washing as and when needed (don't have a shower!). The bath is only filled anywhere from 1/3rd to just under 1/2 full and has become a necessary top up to watering. After emptying it with buckets and getting wet in the process, we decided to buy and try a small pond pump.

As a temporary measure, until we find a spare bit of hose, the outside waste pipe is disconnected during bath emptying and a large red bucket placed underneath the outlet.
From this bucket we fill watering cans and or smaller buckets to water anything in the garden looking a little sorry for itself. Fruit and veg comes first but they always have rainwater when available. We get about 3-4 of these red buckets per bath so not a huge amount. Our water does have a small amount of bubble bath in it but I have read that plants aren't too fussed - fingers crossed!

Here is the pump in action in the bath
One of us stands outside to indicate (by tapping on the window) when the red bucket is nearly full, so the pump can be switched off. The plants are watered and red bucket emptied, then the window tapped again to indicate more water please!

All in all, with emptying and watering, it took about 30 minutes. The plants in the front garden certainly look a lot happier now.

Mind you, lesson 1, don't forget to put the outside pipe back on when finished otherwise your tooth cleaning water lands in it - again, the plants didn't complain.

Lesson 2 - investigate if the water seems to be taking a long while to drain. We have one of those fancy semi built in plugs on a lever system. Removed the plug to put the hose in, took an age to drain. DB investigated with his hook tools and pulled out this 'lovely' mess.
A mixture of hair, skin and soap gunk. Sink drains beautifully now!


  1. WE have those horrible plugs too and I cant believe the mess and gunk that collects!

  2. I have a 'thing' about hair in plug holes. At home I am always clearing it out but if I go elsewhere it actually makes me feel quite ill, especially in a hotel or such like. Enjoy this weather xxx

  3. That's a good reuse of water! Good that horrible plug is gone.
    Enjoy the sunny weather :)

  4. Ugh, I'm with Fran here, makes me feel yuk! But we all produce the stuff that makes this mess, I suppose. Now We can't do that pump thing as we don't have baths. Aren't we a dirty couple? No, we have showers, and to this day I don't know which is the more economical but I do enjoy a shower and so much easier for hair washing. But hmmmm, what a good idea to re-use the bath water.

  5. What a brilliant idea to buy a pond pump. I must keep that at the back of my mind for future use :-)

  6. Anne, pain in the neck these plugs, keep telling DB I'd rather have a normal one.

    Fran, can't say I like it either but this is the first time anything has had to be hooked out since the bathroom went in years ago so it hasn't done too badly.

    Hilde, the plants are so desperate for water they seem quite happy with it.

    Lynne, we have been on a water meter now for just over one year and in that time, have used just 62 cubic metres of water which is very low.

    Sue, It is so useful. We used it the other day to empty what was left beneath the drain hole in all the water butts and managed to fill one dustbin with it all for blueberry use only.

  7. That's such a good idea DC and I have a thing about cleaning out the bath plug too. It's surprising just how much clogs it up.
    Patricia x

  8. Patricia, now we are getting into the 'swing' of using the bath water, it doesn't take more than 10 minutes now so that is good.

  9. It is illegal here in the u.s. to discharge "grey " water on to the ground as it contains pathogens that you dont want in the soil.
    I know people ignore this but it is important to research what you are doing in this regard to completely understand the implications. Swimming pools are chlorinated for example. Check your by-laws. I would be interested to know what they require.

  10. I did check before using it. Only bath, shower, washing up and hand washing water can be used. Washing machine and dish washer water has to be treated using a grey water recycling system. Toilet water can not be used at all. I got the information from our Government web site as well as my local water authority.


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