So to cut to more positive water-based activities. Yesterday I plumbed in a hose (that I brought at a garage sale for $5) from our bath outlet to the swale. I spent a few more dollars at the local hardware for some connectors. Now, every time we have a bath or a shower the water runs out into and along the swale and seeps under the thickly mulched beds, which will soon be planted with numerous indigenous grasses and sedges, and exotic fruit trees, vegetables and herbs. Keeping produce alive in the summer months has in the past required much dependency on labourious (handheld hose restrictions) watering. This simple, cheap, gravity-fed system of recycling water will cut time, encourage worms and other organisms to thrive in the soil and provide a healthy environment for the plant life. I have been trying to figure out the best way to reuse our greywater, and knew that if I collect it in a tank it would stagnate and become septic unless we were constantly moving it around. By passively harvesting our greywater along the swale, in the soil and with daylight and microbial life engaging with it, it solves all the problems of storing this precious resource.
Just about any small garden can incorporate a swale. If you're considering harvesting your greywater consider a swale rather than a tank. The money and carbon you will save is considerable. Our swale and hose set-up cost about $50. You can do it for less if you hand dig the swale on contour. And yes, it still works in flat gardens, although you'll need to be able to gravity feed your bath water to the swale.