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Friday, June 6, 2008

Gray Water in the Garden

Yesterday at work I had a discussion with someone who chided me for using gray water in my garden last summer during the drought. Now I only did this a few times, and used a few small buckets of highly diluted recycled water--not toilet water! I used water collected in the sink and tub. I didn't do it long because frankly it was too much work for the amount of water it gave me.

Anyhow this person told me that an 'expert' told her group at a meeting that gray water fouls and pollutes rivers and streams. I was pretty skeptical of this and told her so. I really believed that the earth, vegetation, soil microbes and the soil itself make up such a tremendous filtering system that it was simply incredible to believe there was much chance that this little bit of gray water was making its way into the Charlotte Water Table and polluting it.

Well you know-- she asked me what if all of us did this??

Even if ALL my neighbors used a little gray water I still don't think it would pollute the river near us.

Anyhow to check up on my own grasp of this issue I did do a google search and found an article online that gives some good information and a good rule of thumb for how much gray water one may use in a garden. My source is the University of Massachusetts Extension, I didn't dig any deeper but I'm pretty sure this is sound info and that it is quite likely other sources will agree. I don't know who the water expert was that spoke at my acquaintance's meeting.

My thought is we really do need to Think for ourselves about these things. Chances are if a thing doesn't make sense to us, there's a reason. There are so many 'experts' these days and if we listened to every one of them we'd have to give up all our personal freedom and we'd be forever turning in circles trying to keep up with their latest contradicting evidences. Anyhow I think the gray water information is useful. I personally don't use much gray water anymore, not that I won't if I feel it is needed. I would hate to see the personal freedom to resort to that choice pulled away by an expert that wasn't really seeing the 'big picture' very well.

Common Sense--its not really just another word for ignorance, it just seems that way to some 'experts'.

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