Stories

All about greywater with Leigh Jerrard of Greywater Corps

Author: Nico
Date: February 26, 2020

Nico Echo Park is organized as a benefit corporation, which means that we balance financial returns with a commitment to “making a material positive impact on society and the environment.”

As part of our mission to positively impact the neighborhoods we invest in, Nico Echo Park recently partnered with Greywater Corps to install a greywater system at one of our buildings. We talked with the owner of Greywater Corps, Leigh Jerrard, to learn more about how this system works. 

What is Greywater Corps?

For the past 10 years, our company has been digging and installing greywater irrigation systems and harvesting rainwater. 

Our goal is to basically eliminate people watering plants with drinking water. 

Why is this important?

All the drinking and irrigation water in Los Angeles comes from Northern California and is pumped over miles and miles at a great ecological expense. People are washing their hands, taking showers, watering their lawns and then all this water, that’s already traveled miles, is getting discharged into the ocean. 

Basically, there are two main problems:

  1. There are a lot of resources being used to pump that water to Los Angeles and it hurts the environment
  2. The water that’s being dumped into the ocean can be harmful and contribute to red tide algae blooms

What makes Greywater different?

We create unique plumbing systems that capture water from bathtubs, showers, and laundry that can be recaptured and used to water your garden. So, basically you’re not using tap water to irrigate your lawn or foliage. This typically accounts for 50-80% of a household’s waste stream. Plus, this type of recycled water is also good for your plants! 

Water is becoming more scarce and it leaves a huge footprint just pumping it to LA, a Greywater system helps reduce this. 

What system did you install at Nico Echo Park’s resident building? 

We built a custom design that filters water form three of the washing machines and then pumps it to water the landscaping. There are deep chimps in the landscaping that filter and contain the greywater. 

We usually do this for single-family homes, so this was something special! We also added these timers on the wall, so residents have the option of using the system or not. We made it so you have to opt-in for the Greywater and set it for next hour, it will go-to plants. If you’re not interested in Greywater or you’re using bleach, you can opt-out. We like this idea of giving people an option. 

What’s the future of Greywater in residential units?

More and more systems will be installed until they become the norm. Or, at least, that’s how I envision it! But really, with the changing environment and limited resources, this is a much more viable option to get water. 

Learn more about Greywater Corps on their website here.