(Back to Irrigation Methods)
Laundry to Landscape is a washer machine pressurized irrigation method, popularized in California.
The basic concept is connecting a 1" or larger hose connected to the outlet of the washer machine, and running this hose as long as required to reach the irrigation area. Adjustable valves are then added to allow the graywater to empty into mulch basins around trees and plants.
Based on our experience in Australia we will not recommend nor sell such systems, for the following reasons:
- Washer machine pumps are NOT built for this.
Plumbers and appliance stores have made a LOT of money in Australia either repairing or replacing washing machines.
About 5 years ago major hardware chains started selling 1" hose kits. The kit couldn't be simpler, a 1" hose, with a rubber connection on one end and simply open at the other. People simply connected the hose to the washer, and moved the hose around the garden from wash to wash.
Even with a totally open hose (in most cases 30' long), many washer machines failed within 3 years use. Pressurizing the washer machine pump by restricting the flow via valves etc places even more load on the pump.
A far better (and now common) approach in Australia is collecting the graywater in a barrel like container, and using a automatic pump to force the water to the irrigation area (whether using a dripperline system, spray nozzle or sprinkler, subject to the water type and local regulations).
- Uneven flow rate across irrigation points.
The water pressure inside the pipe at each irrigation point will vary according to the flow rate at each point, the distance of the point from the washer machine, and how much water the washer machine is pumping out at any one time.
Much time and effort is required to tune numerous valves to achieve consistent, even irrigation.
- Lack of filtration causes clogging.
Washer machines can produce a significant amount of lint and hair. This rapidly clogs any pressurized irrigation system unless additional filtration is used. A simple but reckless solution is to place a filter sock (or similar) on the washer machine outlet. However this places even more load on the washer pump.
An alternative method is to use large holes in the irrigation tube. The large holes wont clog as easily, however tuning such systems to water more than one area takes trial and error to achieve even watering.
Further information about Irrigation Methods
Irrigating every day
Buckets and hoses
Pumped hose / nozzle