Graywater Systems

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What is graywater?

Graywater is any household wastewater with the exception of wastewater from toilets.  Graywater can come from a variety of appliances and devices such as sinks, washing machines, showers, and bath tubs.

What is the benefit of using graywater?

The use of graywater reduces your reliance on potable water for outdoor irrigation, it also minimizes the amount of water that enters our wastewater collection system.

Can I store my graywater?

Per Chapter 16 of the California Plumbing Code, graywater must be used as it is created, graywater can not be stored on site for any purpose.

Types of graywater systems:

There are three different classifications of graywater systems.  These three classifications vary in complexity, permitting requirements, and volume of water produced.  The most common, and widely used system uses wastewater from laundry to directly water a garden (gravity fed), this method does not require permitting of any type.  

1. Clothes Washer System: No permit required. Often described as "laundry-to-landscape", this system moves water from washing machines to gardens and requires no plumbing alterations.  Please note: If a pump is used to move water, a permit will be required for this type of system.

2. Simple System (less than 250 gallons/day): Permit required. Reuse water from bathroom sinks and showers.  Often involve on-site plumbing alterations and include pumps and surge tanks.  

3. Complex System (more than 250 gallons/day): Permit required.  Supply large quantities of water via a complex system of pumps, surge tanks, and filtration systems.  These systems are expensive to install and require large amounts of maintenance.

For more information about graywater standards and requirements please view California Plumbing Code: Chapter 16


Additional Links:

California Plumbing Code: Chapter 16

Greywater Alliance

Greywater Action

Oasis Design