By Nate Hipple
If some catastrophe suddenly cut-off the entire water supply to San Diego County it wouldn’t affect Cielo Foth. She’d still probably be watering her fruit trees.
Cielo’s secret is a home irrigation system that catches the rain falling on her roof and channels it into several 4-1/2 x 7 ft tanks.
Currently those tanks are filled to the brim (thanks to our quick rainy season) so Cielo had to buy a few extra barrels to catch the surplus.
“People say it doesn’t rain much in San Diego”, Ceilo said. “But isn’t that a good reason to collect the rain we do get?”
Now, here’s a woman who is doing what we all should: taking advantage of an unlimited natural resource in order to promote a more self-sustaining lifestyle.
“I just needed more water for my fruit trees and I didn’t want to burden the city.”
The decision came naturally to Ceilo. She’s got a degree in civil engineering and her husband’s expertise is industrial engineering. Together, they transformed their hillside backyard into a terraced Eden – a labor of love they embarked upon ten years ago. In 2008, they started attending water allocation workshops where they learned about rainwater harvesting, among other things.
Cielo taught me some of the deadly sins of watering. They range from watering on the wrong days to re-filling swimming pools that are seldom used. Oh, and beware of this double-whammy: forgetting to turn off the sprinklers during a rain shower. Doh!
Not to worry, folks, we can redeem ourselves. Ceilo’s tips include: Collecting the water that runs while you wait for the shower to warm up. Saving the clean rise cycle from your washing machine. And irrigating with your grey line water. That’s water you’ve already paid for!
If you’d rather deal directly with mother nature, Cielo recommends checking out www.harvestingrainwater.com
Does it really work?
“Last month, we calculated a 72.5% savings in total water usage,” Cielo proudly reports.