Rainwater Harvesting for Drylands and Beyond by Brad Lancaster

Greywater systems without pipe

You don’t need drain pipe for a greywater-harvesting system. There are other ways to get the greywater to the rootzone of the plants you want to water. 

See the greywater-harvesting chapter of Rainwater Harvesting for Drylands and Beyond, Volume 2, 2nd Edition for some, Art Ludwig’s book Create an Oasis with Greywater for others, and below for still more.

Outdoor wash station greywater beneficially directed to fruiting mulberry (which will grow to shade the wash station) and other plantings in Zimbabwe.
A sponge-like mulch of organic matter would help quicken the rate of infiltration into the soil.
See Muonde.org for more on such good work in Zimbabwe.

A greywater puddle is a stinky problem.
A greywater sponge of vegetation and mulch rapidly absorbing the water is an odorless solution.
And if one area becomes saturated, direct the greywater to other areas to spread the wealth, and keep the soils aerobic in all areas.

Greywater from a tippy-tap hand washing station irrigates a young tree (currently protected from livestock with a wood barrier) outside a toilet building in a family compound in Zimbabwe.Tree will grow to shelter and cool the building. A basin or boomerang berm around tree could also capture more of the rainfall and runoff from the earthen courtyard to further enhance the tree’s growth. 


Outdoor hose shower – great for summer.
Greywater is rapidly absorbed within mulched basin and roots of its perennial vegetation. No puddles, no mud, no odor.


For more, see chapter 12 of Rainwater Harvesting for Drylands and Beyond, Volume 2, 2nd Edition

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Umbrella Newsletter

The Umbrella: Summer 2020

THE UMBRELLA: A catch-all of resources, events, media, and more from Brad Lancaster In this time of Covid-19 and spending more time at home to be safe, I’ve been grateful for the solace, inspiration, and bountiful sustenance my water-harvesting gardens, landscape, and neighborhood forest has provided me, my family, friends, and neighbors. Record summer heat […]

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