If the headlines are true, “It will take years of wet weather before California recovers from drought, study finds“, then residential recycled water fill stations are here to stay, for a while longer. This is great news for recycled water haulers everywhere. Many have already setup up their irrigation systems and their solution works for them. We can all learn from their mechanical ingenuity.
Take for instance one hauler who lives in Oakley, California, he hauls 1700-1800 gallons of recycled water a month via two 55 gallon drums in the back of his Toyota Tacoma. This is his story.
The owner wishes to remain nameless, so we’ll call him James. James is a military veteran and is a wizard when it comes to keeping landscapes alive. James turned to recycled water last year so he could reduce his water bill by 30% and still keep his front yard lush. Even when his neighbors’ house went into foreclosure and the bank turned the sprinklers off, James continued to haul so he could maintain curb appeal and kept up with lawn maintenance.
James hauls water from a local recycled water fill station and temporarily stores it in a 275 gallon tote that sits on his side yard. He uses an Everbilt non-submersible transfer pump he purchased from Home Depot for $88. James needed to fabricate a draw tube to use in the barrels and eventually learned that the hoses would kink so he built a pump mount out of 2×4’s and a fence board – all parts he had laying around the house.
Every other day, James uses about 100 gallons of recycled water that he has collected from his trips to the fill station. By using a sump pump in the bottom of the tote, he hand waters his front yard, using the water mostly on the plants and trees, as well as re-filling his recirculating fountain on the front walk. In his backyard, he uses one of those “old school lawn sprinklers” to water the grass.
James says most of his neighbors have let their lawns turn brown, but he is proud of his golf course green lawn. Between his normal fertilizer schedule and the massive amounts of recycled water he uses, his lawn is near perfect.
When it is hot, like it has been the past few weeks, James will water his yard twice a day (morning/evening) for about 3 minutes each cycle. Plants are watered every 4 days through the in-ground irrigation system, mostly to wash the salts left over from recycled water.
James will spend about 1.5 hours hauling and unloading water each time but it is time that allows him to admire his hard work and think about life. James intends to keep hauling recycled water as long as it is available. If that means another 4 years, then so be it.