In this case, the client already had part of a greywater system plumbed, but it pointed toward the center of this slide into a septic tank. The idea was that the client would remove the water from the tank via a sump pump and a hose. The problem is that greywater turns to blackwater if it is allowed to sit in a tank for more than 24 hours. This technically made the previous system illegal. We came in, rerouted the greywater pipe to pop out in mulched basins as per the State of New Mexico’s regulations. (See the New Mexico Environment Department’s website, my book Harvest the Rain, other parts of this blog, and my Permaculture in Practice Archives for more info about NM’s greywater [aka graywater, grey water, and gray water] law).
I typically do not have time (in my hour-long presentations) to go through every pattern known to humanity, but I typically discuss branching, tessellation, weaving, layering, and containment with brief references to waves, spirals, concentric rings, and the scatter pattern. In this lecture, I focused on branching, tessellation, and three forms of containment (cisterns, waffle gardens, and wicking rain-gardens)
Patterns are also very important because they collect, convey, store, filter, and distribute energy. In the case of water harvesting, we see these five verbs at work with respect to precipitation, but we can also see patterns in these relationships with other forms of energy both in nature and with respect to human systems and technology.