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A Bucket of Information on Graywater

August 25, 2016

Graywater

 

 

What is Graywater?

Graywater is untreated wastewater that does not include any toilet discharge, unhealthy bodily wastes, or manufacturing wastes. It is wastewater from bathtubs, showers, bathroom washbasins, and clothes washing machines. Wastewater from kitchen sinks, dishwashers, and laundry of soiled diapers is not included.

How can I use Graywater?

Graywater can be used to irrigate landscaping and plants but not on root crops or edible parts of food crops. Irrigation lines can be either drip or leach systems and the discharge point must be covered by at least two (2) inches of mulch, rock, soil, or a solid shield to minimize the possibility of contact with humans and domestic pets. Be aware that some soaps and detergents can contain a variety of chemicals to aid in cleaning that may be harmful to your plants. Avoid soaps with chlorine or bleach, peroxygen, sodium perborate, sodium trypochorite, boron, borax, petroleum distillate, alkylbenze, “whiteners”, “softeners”, and enzymatic components. Please contact a reputable landscape specialist for more information.

What regulations should I know about?

On January 27, 2010, the State of California finalized the graywater regula ons for Chapter 16A “Nonpotable Water Reuse Systems” into the 2007 California Plumbing Code (CPC). The emergency graywater regulations were enacted to help residents of California conserve water by facilitating greater reuse of laundry, shower water, and similar sources for irrigation. In addition, by making legal compliance easy, the State hopes to reduce the number of non-compliant graywater systems. Your graywater system must comply with the 2007 CPC and other codes enacted by your local municipality or water purveyor.

All other gray water systems require a permit. A permit must be obtained from the building department of your local municipality. If you live in an unincorporated area of San Diego County, you must obtain your permit from the County of San Diego Department of Environmental Health (DEH) …read more.

Do I need a permit?

Not all graywater systems require a permit. Generally, clothes washer systems designed and operated to meet the following criteria do not require a permit, but you may need to notify the local jurisdiction on and/or your local water supplier. The following are system design requirements:

  1. Design will permit diversion of graywater to an alternative sewage disposal system.
  2. There are to be no connections between the graywater and potable water systems, and no pumping of the graywater will be permitted.
  3. The graywater will be contained on site, with no ponding or runoff.
  4. The graywater will be released under at least two (2) inches of mulch, rock, or soil, or a solid shield.
  5. Water used to wash diapers or infectious garments will be diverted to sewage disposal system.
  6. Graywater will not contain hazardous chemicals.
  7. The design will be consistent with the plumbing code.
  8. An operation and maintenance manual will be provided to the owner and all subsequent owners/tenants.
  9. All other gray water systems require a permit. A permit must be obtained from the building department of your local
    municipality. If you live in an unincorporated area of San Diego County, you must obtain your permit from the County of San
    Diego Department of Environmental Health (DEH).

Follow this link to get more information from the Graywater Fact Sheet by the San Diego County Water Authority

 

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