Saving and reusing water in the kitchen

The kitchen sink is one good smart place to be water-wise . In Rajasthan where water has been scarce, a tradition had evolved which washed dishes carefully in a bowl and then the water was fed to plants. The need to emulate good practices like the Rajasthan household model in modern kitchens of urban India is possible. However it is important to recognise that Indian cooking habits with the ’masalas’ and the oil, tends to make kitchen wash water nutrient and oil rich. Hence disposal and reuse must be handed with care.

Waterwise: Recycle Kitchen water with care

Rule 1: Get 2 sinks instead of one. The first sink can be used for heavy washing of dishes, which may have detergents and food residues. The second sink could be used for final rinse or to simply wash vegetables. The second sink water can directly be used for swabbing the floor or for garden use.

Rule 2: Get a foot-tap. While doing dishes both hands are in the sink. This makes the control of the tap difficult. A foot tap provides controlled flow and can save water by up-to 50 per cent in the kitchen.

Rule 3: Put a foam tap or a shower head in the kitchen sink. We need spread of water to clean large utensils rather than volume. A simple shower head attachment can provide the spread helping do the dishes faster and thus save water. A swivel tap will cover both sinks if you have two.

Rule 4: Get a solar water heater connection to the kitchen sink. Hot water helps clean dishes faster especially those with grease or fat. The faster the dishes are cleaned, the less water is used.

Rule 5: Use a phosphate free detergent and do the dishes smartly. An initial scrubbing and cleaning of all the dishes, followed by soaping, helps save water and detergents. The less detergents that is used, the less pollution is caused .

Rule 6: If you have the space set up a simple sand filter after the oil and grease trap. Collect the water that flows of this filter and use it for gardening purpose. The sand filter usually is a small 10 litre bucket filled with 9 inches of 1 mm sand. Water is let in from the top and collected at the bottom of the bucket where a suitable hole is made and a pipe inserted to draw the water out. A mesh is placed at the bottom to hold the sand in place .

Rule 7: Finally kitchen water is organically loaded and can smell. It is only through segregation and proper treatment that it can be reused. It should never be allowed to go into the groundwater untreated.

When applying the used kitchen water make sure that you pour it into a sandy bed with a good mulch on top. This will ensure that the water goes to the root zone of plants and does not attract flies and mosquitoes.

S.Vishwanath From THE HINDU


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