Moet geliefs nie gryswater in jou tuin gebruik nie

Omvattende studie oor effek van wasmasjienwater op grond

20 April 2021 | Environment

Dink twee keer voordat jy jou tuin natlei met die gryswater afkomstig van jou wasmasjien: Dis nie goed vir die einste grond waarin plante moet groei nie. As jy nie anders kan nie, gebruik eerder vloeibare wasmiddels as waspoeier, want dit werk ’n raps sagter met grond.
Dis die boodskap van grondkundiges aan die Universiteit Stellenbosch (US) ná hulle die eerste omvattende studie ooit oor die effek van gebruikte wasgoedwater op die toestand van grond voltooi het.
Die studie in die vaktydskrif Journal of Hydrology is gelei deur dr. Ailsa Hardie van die Departement Grondkunde in die US Fakulteit AgriWetenskappe. Dis gebaseer op die MSc-navorsingswerk van een van die mede-skrywers van die studie, me. Ncumisa Madubela, wat in Maart 2020 gegradueer het.
Die hergebruik van wasmasjienwater kom algemeen voor, omdat dit redelike volumes water verskaf en omdat dit anders as byvoorbeeld badwater maklik is om tot in ’n tuin te herlei. Hierdie bron van gryswater het egter sy nadele, sê die navorsers.
“Talle Kaapenaars het met die onlangse droogte en die naderende Dag Zero hul bes gedoen om gryswaterstelsels in plek te sit om hul tuine met wasgoedwater nat te lei. Daardeur kon hulle sommige plante aan die lewe hou. Die hergebruik van wasgoedwater is egter nie tot voordeel van die grond waarin hulle geplant is nie,” sê Hardie.
“Dieselfde chemikalieë in wasgoedskoonmaakmiddels wat kolle en vuiligheid van klere afhaal, stroop ook voordelige humus uit die grond weg. Humus is die beste organiese bestanddeel in grond, en dra by tot die gesondheid, vrugbaarheid en waterbergingsvermoë van grond,” verduidelik hy.
Weens hierdie “stropingseffek”, versprei die kleipartikels in grond. Dit blok die porieë in grond. Weldra vorm ‘n kors bo-op die oppervlak wat die grond seël. “Dit maak dit moeilik vir water om in die grond in te dring. Heelwat water loop net weg en gaan in die proses verlore wanneer dit reën of wanneer jy jou tuin natmaak. Eintlik is jy dan besig om water te mors, want oor tyd heen dring bitter min van die water wat jy vir jou tuin gee die grond in om plantwortels te bereik,” verduidelik sy.
Die geblokte grondporieë belemmer ook die waterhouvermoë van grond. Dit beteken dat in droogtetye die grond uitdroog. Die grond word toenemend brak en alkalies. “Plante kan nie in sulke grond floreer nie, en sukkel om water en ander belangrike voedingstowwe daaruit op te neem,” verduidelik Hardie verder. “Die agteruitgang van grond vind plaas vanaf die eerste keer wat dit met wasgoedwater natgelei word. Met verloop van tyd raak dit baie moeilik om ooit te herstel.
“Uit die aard van hul samestelling is dit logies dat die wasgoedskoonmaakmiddels wat in gryswater oorbly ook grond sal afbreek en sal stroop,” voeg Hardie by. “Moet liefs nie gryswater wat wasgoedpoeier bevat gebruik om grond mee nat te lei nie, want dit breek grond grootskaals af. Vloeibare wasgoedmiddels is beter om te gebruik, maar steeds in matigheid.”
Op grond van hul bevindinge stel die navorsers voor dat mense nie sonder meer gryswater wat wasgoedpoeier bevat gebruik om tuine mee nat te maak nie. Vloeibare wasgoedmiddel is minder skadelik, maar die korttermyn winste in terme daarvan om ’n maklik beskikbare bron van besproeiingswater te hê moet opgeweeg word teenoor die kummulatiewe negatiewe impak wat die herhaalde gebruik van sulke gryswater het op grondkwaliteit en die vermoë om droogtes te deurstaan.
Op grond van ongepubliseerde data, reken Hardie dis veel beter vir grond (en dus vir die plante wat daarin groei) om eerder stort-, bad- en selfs kombuiswater te hergebruik. Dis omdat sulke gryswater nie noodwendig soveel aggressiewe chemikalieë bevat wat die grond afbreek nie.

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