Do the earth a favor, and recycle your kitchen waste water.
ILLUSTRATION: MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF
It's possible—with very little effort—to recycle all the waste water from your kitchen sink . . . and not send it to a septic tank, cesspool, or municipal treatment center. Here's all you do:
Where your drain pipe leaves the house, couple on a long stretch of PVC (polyvinyl chloride) pipe and simply gravity feed the waste water to wherever it's needed. Our runoff goes directly to a compost heap that's teeming with earthworms, and sometimes it also goes on the ground between our thirsty squash hills. With flexible PVC pipe it goes anywhere we want it to, as long as the area to be watered isn't higher than the sink in our kitchen.
We wash our dishes with a mild, no-phosphate, biodegradable dishwashing liquid, and so far this doesn't seem to have any effect upon either our compost heaps or our vegetables. In fact, the compost which does receive our dishwater (or bathwater . . . it doesn't seem to make any difference) contains a larger population of earthworms than the piles of compost which don't get the waste water.
In addition, birds pick up the small particles of grain which wash through the system . . . and the extra waterings have a beneficial effect upon our garden in the summertime.
We like the above method of recycling our rinse water . . . and so (it appears) does every living thing in our backyard!