SAN DIEGO – A Scripps Ranch woman has tapped into a new way of saving water while protecting her home from a fire.
“I think it’s a win, win – I protect my house and I save water,” said Kathy Smith.
Through a greywater system, Smith is able to use water from her laundry for irrigation.
Instead of watering her entire yard, she strategically keeps the trees around the perimeter of her house green – ultimately creating a firebreak.
“Its really a green belt around your house so if there was a fire next door, she would have this whole firebreak around her to protect her house,” said Candace Vanderhoff with “Rainthanks & Greywater,” who set up the system.
According to Vanderhoff, an average family of four can collect up 16,000 gallons of greywater a year from their alone.
“One shower from your home could be hooked up to water an entire row of trees outside,” said Vanderhoff.
According to reports, defensible space was a major issue during the devastating fires of 2003, 2004 and 2014.
“I was here when we had to evacuate in 2003, my kids and I had little notice so I do want to protect my house,” said Smith.
As a result of the new system, Smith says her water bill is down to $50 per month.
Installation and design of the system can run around $1,500 according to Vanderhoff.