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Author: jekkel One star, 50 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 31083  
Subject: Is this gross or am I being silly?? Date: 8/5/2001 11:23 AM
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Let me start with the disclaimer that I am not a gardener. I am buying a house and will be coming here for much advice soon, I imagine. But as it stands now, I know nothing!!

Ok here is the reason for my post:

My neighbors have a very large, very nice garden. They generously bring over bags full of veggies for me. "GREAT!!" you might think. My problem with this is that they water their garden by diverting the water draining from their clothes washing machine as well as from a hot tub.

Is this normal? I can not eat these veggies knowing that they have been soaking up the neighbors 'bath' water.

Not that chemical fertilizers or animal waste is any more appetizing, but something about human waste is just worse to me.

Any opinions or experience with this form of irrigation? Am I just being weird?

Thanks
-jekkel
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Author: zsimpson Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 4422 of 31083
Subject: Re: Is this gross or am I being silly?? Date: 8/5/2001 11:31 AM
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Is this normal? I can not eat these veggies knowing that they have been soaking up the neighbors 'bath' water.
Not that chemical fertilizers or animal waste is any more appetizing, but something about human waste is just worse to me.


#1. You said "bath water", and laundry water, not flush water, so there shouldn't be any human waste (unless we have different meanings for the term "human waste")
#2. Human waste IS fertilizer. Plants grow best in poop. Check out someone's yard that has a septic system, they tend to have much prettier grass.
I might be a bit uncomfortable if there was soap in the laundry and bath water they are diverting, but not about human waste.

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Author: pauleckler Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 4425 of 31083
Subject: Re: Is this gross or am I being silly?? Date: 8/5/2001 11:58 AM
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The hot tub water is probably chloriated and sterile. Otherwise, it would be green from algae.

Detergent water once was rich in phosphates and a good fertilizer too. But now days phosphates are gone. The salts are potentially a problem to gardeners, but would take a while to accumulate, and shouldn't cause problems if the garden plot drains well. Now that people use oxygen bleach detergents or those who still use Clorox should have sterile laundry too.

The risks you suggest are probably minimal.

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Author: ogrecat Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 4428 of 31083
Subject: Re: Is this gross or am I being silly?? Date: 8/5/2001 12:21 PM
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My problem with this is that they water their garden by diverting the water draining from their clothes washing machine as well as from a hot tub.

Is this normal? I can not eat these veggies knowing that they have been soaking up the neighbors 'bath' water.


What do think is going to happen?

I have pulled my garden through severe droughts with washing machine a shower water. The soil is a living thing, and has no problem processing what ever low level of 'human waste' is in bath or washing runoff. My city processes solid waste into soil and gives it away.




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Author: renyag Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 4429 of 31083
Subject: Re: Is this gross or am I being silly?? Date: 8/5/2001 12:40 PM
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they water their garden by diverting the water draining from their clothes washing machine as well as from a hot tub.


Is this normal? I can not eat these veggies knowing that they have been soaking up the neighbors 'bath' water.

I'd be wary. I saw this movie once, or maybe it was a dream I had, where these aliens took control of their neighbors by gradually introducing alien cells into the neighbors bodies. This might be what your neighbors are doing to you, by offering you garden goodies that have soaked up water from their washing machine and hottub. Definetly this water would have cellular material from them in it, and you're eating it. If they are aliens, you are definetly in danger of being slowly converted to one of their kind. Check out www.stopabductions.com

If they're not aliens, eating the veggies with those sources for water is OK. But you can never be too careful.


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Author: jekkel One star, 50 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 4432 of 31083
Subject: Re: Is this gross or am I being silly?? Date: 8/5/2001 2:26 PM
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>>I'd be wary. I saw this movie once, or maybe it was a dream I had, where these aliens took control of their neighbors by gradually introducing alien cells into the neighbors bodies. This might be what your neighbors are doing to you, by offering you garden goodies that have soaked up water from their washing machine and hottub. Definetly this water would have cellular material from them in it, and you're eating it. If they are aliens, you are definetly in danger of being slowly converted to one of their kind. <<


LOL renyag!!!

OK so I guess general opinion is I am being weird. I thought that might be it.

So now let me ask, do any of you use your washing machine water or used bathwater to water your veggie gardens? If yes, do you see a big savings in water cost? If no, why don't you?

-jekkel
(weird about other people's waste water)

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Author: jekkel One star, 50 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 4433 of 31083
Subject: Re: Is this gross or am I being silly?? Date: 8/5/2001 2:33 PM
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>>What do think is going to happen?

I have pulled my garden through severe droughts with washing machine a shower water. The soil is a living thing, and has no problem processing what ever low level of 'human waste' is in bath or washing runoff. My city processes solid waste into soil and gives it away.<<



I don't think I really expect anything 'bad' to happen. It really is more of a psychological issue than anything else. Just kinda grosses me out. Mind you it isn't *my* used water but rather the used water of a neighbor.

I wouldn't drink a cup of someone's bathwater, why would I eat it?
I know I know, not the same thing. Like I said, just me being weird.


-jekkel


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Author: pilgprog Three stars, 500 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 4434 of 31083
Subject: Re: Is this gross or am I being silly?? Date: 8/5/2001 3:24 PM
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We don't today, but we have in times past. For several years water was "rationed" in this area (ie, we were limited to a percentage of last year's usage each month, and penalized with stiff rate charges for over usage). During that period we relied on rainwater (rainbarrels), and on gray water, to maintain the garden and orchard (about a half acre).

And we survived, as did our teenagers (!!)

allen

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Author: zsimpson Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 4436 of 31083
Subject: Re: Is this gross or am I being silly?? Date: 8/5/2001 4:18 PM
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So now let me ask, do any of you use your washing machine water or used bathwater to water your veggie gardens? If yes, do you see a big savings in water cost? If no, why don't you?

Well, mine is a yes and a no. It's a yes because we a septic system that runs underneath where the garden is. It's a no because we don't do it directly, we let the system do the work.

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Author: tfranklin Two stars, 250 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 4440 of 31083
Subject: Re: Is this gross or am I being silly?? Date: 8/5/2001 11:41 PM
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Ever heard of Acid Rain?

It's created when normal rainfall gets mixed with air pollution (simple definition). Any way, rain is an air cleanser. We have no way of knowing what it is cleaning out of the air and returning to mother earth. In some ways, it could be worse than some one's laundry water.

Just another thought,
Tony

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Author: JohnCapen One star, 50 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 4441 of 31083
Subject: Re: Is this gross or am I being silly?? Date: 8/6/2001 1:23 AM
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Alot of Municipalities out here in "Drought Stricken" SoCal encourage the use of Gray Water, although they like to regulate the heck out of the setup. But thats what California is so good about... Regulating.
But alot of people do and the byproducts of their gardens were just fine, As some people have posted already the contents of the water is virtually sterile and the use is restricted to pretty much the sources you described, As long as they arent mixing in raw sewage you should be fine.

JC

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Author: renyag Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 4444 of 31083
Subject: Re: Is this gross or am I being silly?? Date: 8/6/2001 9:53 AM
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"So now let me ask, do any of you use your washing machine water or used bathwater to water your veggie gardens? If yes, do you see a big savings in water cost? If no, why don't you?"

As other posters have noted, grey water and rainbarrel water can be used to water plants, even garden plants. The 'cost effectiveness' is measured by duplicate uses for a limited resource. Although your individual savings may be minute, the aggregate effect if many people in a water restricted area do so can have an impact.

Read the science fiction triology _Dune_ it will give you an insight on how precious water can be.


Is this gross or am I being silly??

It's OK to be silly, and even occassionally 'gross', but I suggest you pick your spots carefully.

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Author: phantomdiver Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 4447 of 31083
Subject: Re: Is this gross or am I being silly?? Date: 8/6/2001 12:21 PM
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I wouldn't drink a cup of someone's bathwater, why would I eat it?
I know I know, not the same thing. Like I said, just me being weird.


You're right, it isn't the same thing. Consider this: it's perfectly okay to water your veggies with water that has dirt in it, right? Because you wash the veggie before you eat it. So as long as you wash all the fruits and veggies you eat, you'll be fine.

Don't worry about being "weird" -- I'd just say you didn't know something. What's important is that you knew you didn't know something and took steps to fix that hole in your knowledge.

phantomdiver

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Author: prime13 Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 4449 of 31083
Subject: Re: Is this gross or am I being silly?? Date: 8/6/2001 2:13 PM
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Consider this: it's perfectly okay to water your veggies with water that has dirt in it, right? Because you wash the veggie before you eat it. So as long as you wash all the fruits and veggies you eat, you'll be fine.

And a lot of people use "Manure Tea" to water and feed their crops. Think about that.

prime13


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Author: pilgprog Three stars, 500 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 4450 of 31083
Subject: Re: Is this gross or am I being silly?? Date: 8/6/2001 5:31 PM
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Garrett juice - see http://www.dirtdoctor.com/

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Author: jekkel One star, 50 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 4452 of 31083
Subject: Re: Is this gross or am I being silly?? Date: 8/6/2001 6:46 PM
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>>And a lot of people use "Manure Tea" to water and feed their crops. Think about that.<<


Nooooooooooooooooooo....!!!



-jekkel


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Author: ogrecat Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 4456 of 31083
Subject: Re: Is this gross or am I being silly?? Date: 8/6/2001 8:39 PM
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>>And a lot of people use "Manure Tea" to water and feed their crops. Think about that.<<

And let's not get into the subtleties of composting.

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Author: jekkel One star, 50 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 4457 of 31083
Subject: Re: Is this gross or am I being silly?? Date: 8/6/2001 8:43 PM
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>>And let's not get into the subtleties of composting. <<

hehehe actually I've been a composter. That's where I used to get my best fishing grubs.

It is the 'human' waste water angle that bugs me, not manure or maggots or the like.



-jekkel

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Author: ogrecat Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 4458 of 31083
Subject: Re: Is this gross or am I being silly?? Date: 8/6/2001 8:50 PM
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hehehe actually I've been a composter. That's where I used to get my best fishing grubs.

It is the 'human' waste water angle that bugs me, not manure or maggots or the like.


Urine is a good compost activator if nitrogen is needed.

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Author: DARNIT Two stars, 250 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 4461 of 31083
Subject: Re: Is this gross or am I being silly?? Date: 8/6/2001 9:47 PM
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jekkel wrote:
My neighbors have a very large, very nice garden. They generously bring over bags full of veggies for me.

I repeat : a very large, very nice garden
and
They generously bring over bags full of veggies for me.

Using Bath/Wash water? Hot Tub Water?

I've heard and read of alot stranger things going on in gardens.....
Let's look at the real question!

Does It Work???? (Tide or Wisk and at what temp?)

As a side note - I wonder if the soap content in the wash water is probably doing away with tons of pests (insectical soap). It also hits the 'good' bugs - but with no bad guys to get, there probably aren't too many in the area...

Happy Harvesting
Cukes 47 - Squash 5
Dar




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Author: voelkels Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 4473 of 31083
Subject: Re: Is this gross or am I being silly?? Date: 8/7/2001 7:58 AM
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My problem with this is that they water their garden by diverting the water draining from their clothes washing machine as well as from a hot tub.

The water from these sources should contain no human waste. The water from the hot tub is probably fairly sterile from the addition of chlorine. The water from the clothes washer contains some detergent and possibly some sodium hypochlorate (bleach) so it to may be sterile. The detergent would act as a wetting agent for the soil. I use a few drops of dishwashing liquid in a pint of water myself to saturate bone dry potting soil before I use it.

I remember 20 or 15 years ago there was a widespread drought and water shortage in England. School children were asked to adopt a tree and to water it using their used bath water. Many trees that would have died because of the drought were saved in this way.

C.J.V.


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