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We just moved to SLO in a half-finished tiny house that is temporarily parked on a friend’s 3 acre property until we can find a place to park for 2-3 years with the eventual goal of buying our own land/farm. We are trying to do the whole gamut: rain water collection, greywater system and composting toilet. My question (for now) is about the greywater system we are setting up- we have a kitchen sink, bathroom sink and shower that will all be connected to one outflow. The problem is that I don’t know exactly what to do since we are only here temporarily: should I buy a few young fruit trees and rig up a drip system to their boxes? What kind of trees would be best in this arid central coast climate? I estimate probably expending about 20-30 gallons a day for all of our shower, washing, laundry etc. thank you in advance!

-Ellee

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Hi Ellee,

If you think the trees will be cared for later on, than buying a few fruit trees would be a great idea. If the trees won’t be cared for after you leave, I would recommend either planing a few native trees that can thrive off of rainwater after you’ve established them with your greywater, or simply setting up a disposal system without plants.

It will be a lot easier if you can plant in the ground and infiltrate the water into native soils (not into a raised container). From the images it looks like there is soil area near the house, so hopefully you can send the water there.

You can install a “branched drain” system and divide your greywater flow to 4-5 outlets, located in a few mulch basins. If you want to irrigate plants, plant them near the basin. Depending on your soil type you’ll make the basins larger or smaller (larger for slower draining soils).

Hope this helps!

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If you are using drip irrigation then your requirements for water alsmot reduces to 90% in some cases. It would be better if you consult one of the local landscaping Consultatnt or may be neighbourhood horticulturist. Best of Luck and quite a worthy effort to recycle the water.
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