Using Every Drop More Than Once

Strange things afoot…why is this garden sprinkler being used during Level 6 watering restrictions – and during heavy rain?

The last thing we want is for any water to go down the drain.

By mid-morning today, heavy showers filled our 21,000 litre rainwater tank. It’s starting to overflow into our network of drainage pipes, which soak the soil deeply from 70 cm down and below.

When this network has done its job the subsoil is soaked, so the pipes carry the surplus into the soakaway pit in the front garden. This pit gradually drains, deeply watering the subsoil.

We also have a sewage system and use the excess treated waste water to water the vegetable garden, but in wet weather we don’t need to water with it. To prevent any waste water losses down the drain (that would be a waste), we bucket water plants that never get watered, like palms, cycads, the curry leaf tree, bottle tree, lemongrass and bamboos. This means they get a good, deep soaking.

When you’ve got an overflowing rainwater tank everyone can have a long, hot, guilt-free shower.

Then out goes the sprinkler to add more tank water to the highest part of the garden out the back. It’s used until the tank stops overflowing. So the sprinkler further soaks soil where, as sub-surface drainage, it can gradually move downslope through the garden’s soil profile.

There’s nothing like banking your water wisely in the soil. Click on this link to see how the ‘whole of site water management plan’ works.

This wet weather will benefit our garden for weeks after other gardens have dried out.

Jerry Coleby-Williams
2nd June 2008