As I mentioned in my first post I am planning on irrigating my Backyard Orchard with Gray Water from my laundry. During my research I discovered that in the state of Nevada it is not currently legal to use Gray Water for irrigation, apparently the Southern Nevada Water Authority has successfully opposed every piece of legislation introduced that would have enabled the use of Gray Water by anyone other than themselves.
The news articles I have found talk about the SNWA believing that a purchaser of water only has the right to use it once then return it for industrial scale treatment and return to the Colorado River. The purpose of returning the water to the Colorado is so that the SNWA can get return credits that allow them to draw more water out of the Colorado and sell it to the same customer that just gave it back.
I’m curious just how many people the water in the Colorado River has literally passed through before it makes it to our taps here in Las Vegas? and is it true that our intake is downstream of the outflow from the water treatment plants? if so how many times does the SNWA sell the same water before allowing it to go downstream?
All that aside I am still going to go forward with my gray water irrigation system, or rather my gravity fed drip irrigation system that will have multiple sources of makeup water. I plan on locating my surge tank where I can eventually install gutters and divert what little rain we get into it, second I am going to run a line from a spare valve on my irrigation system so I can fill it up during dry spells, and third I am going to install a 3 way valve on the outlet from my washing machine and route one side to my septic system and the other into the surge tank.
Additionally I have already started contacting my State Legislators and my Representatives on SNWA’s board. Initially I have just asked for their opinion on the subject, so far only my County Commissioner Chris Giunchigliani has responded. Chris supports the practice but was unsuccessful getting legislation pushed through. My next step will be to educate my representatives about the merits of Gray Water recycling, so if anyone knows of good source material please let me know!