Laundry to Landscape
A Laundry to Landscape (L2L) system uses a diversion valve on your washing machine outlet to send lightly used water (greywater) to landscape or sewer.
When you wash with biocompatible soap, you can direct the water to the garden to keep the roots of your perennial plantings moist and happy; be aware that under some conditions - bleach, dirty diapers, a rain-saturated garden - you will need to direct the water to the sewer. This type of system does not need a permit.
The washing machine pump is sufficient to push water though piping to several sub-surface watering stations full of mulch (aka "mulch basins").
Mulch basins reduce evaporation, filter the water, promote activity of friendly soil microbes at the base, create underground water "lenses," and feed roots as the mulch breaks down. Yet, to the casual observer, there is little visible to the eye!
A Branched Drain system collects water from shower, tub, or hand washing sink and distributes it to the landscape through gravity alone.
Because it entails cutting into existing drain pipe, this type of system normally requires a permit. It also uses mulch basins as its core technology.
Catching water has everything to do with the shape of the land, and where the water's coming from. We can advise about storing rainwater in the soil and help with digging.
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Tried and True Systems
A resilient system has a diversity of supports. We recommend starting with the simplest and most obvious and building redundancy over time.
"In the end, the California water crisis is a run off crisis."
Eric Ohlsen, Permaculture Skills Center, Sebastopol, CA