CUPERTINO (KPIX 5) – As South Bay water officials are asking everyone to cut 15% due to the drought, more people are turning to greywater to save water and their plants at the same time.
According to the latest data from the Santa Clara Valley Water District, South Bay has steadily reduced water consumption since the beginning of the summer.
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Water consumption in 2021 compared to 2019:
The steady decline is likely to coincide with increased media coverage of worsening drought, according to SCVWD spokesman Matt Keller.
In June, the district imposed a mandatory 15% reduction on 2019 use for all customers. According to Keller, the early data show an encouraging trend.
“People have reacted really well during the last drought,” Keller said. ‘This drought will eventually end. We do not want to go back to the old ways of using water. We want to save water and save water and make it a lifestyle here in Santa Clara County. ”
The district still has ample funding for conservation programs, including its Graywater rebate, which reimburses up to $ 400 to homeowners who install qualifying systems.
So-called “Laundry to Landscape” systems have gained popularity in recent years with their relatively simple design that can typically be installed on a weekend by do-it-yourself homeowners without permission.
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Sherri Stein recently installed the system in her Cupertino home, which has 1-inch-diameter purple pipes and a valve to divert wastewater from the washing machine from flowing into the sewer system and instead into the front yard. Special sodium-free soap must be used.
The greywater flows into several black PVC boxes lying in the ground, several meters apart. The water is captured by mulch and spread over the area. A tour of Stein’s fruit trees showed a promising crop of lemons and plums.
“It’s really good because my trees are healthy and they produce beautifully. I do not have to figure out watering them, so it just happens. I mean, I’m doing two things at the same time. That’s pretty cool. It’s a no brainer, ”Stein told KPIX 5.
Outdoor water consumption accounts for the majority of consumption, according to Keller. Even more greywater can be saved with professionally installed systems connected to showers and sinks, but they are more expensive and also require permits.
The average laundry-to-landscape home system can save 4,600 to 15,000 gallons a year.
“It’s a lot of water! We live in a climate where every drop of water stored is so important, not only for your own home, but also for society itself, ”said Justin Burks, Senior Water Conservation Specialist.
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To learn more about greywater systems click here: https://www.valleywater.org/saving-water/outdoor-conservation/about-graywater.
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