What is greywater?
Greywater is gently used water collected from bathroom sinks, showers, tubs, and washing machines, collected water may contain traces of dirt, food, grease, hair, and certain household cleaning products, does not include any toilet discharge, unhealthy bodily wastes, or manufacturing wastes.
What is a greywater system?
A greywater system enables the reuse of greywater from home to yard. This can be performed through water diversion from the inside the house to an outside space. Greywater can be used to irrigate landscaping and plants but not on root crops or edible parts of food crops. Discharge point must be covered by at least 2 inches of mulch, rock, soil, or a solid shield. Some soaps and detergents can contain chemicals to aid in cleaning but harmful to plants, use greywater safe soaps and detergents.
Are any permits needed to install a greywater system?
Construction permits are not required for greywater systems that collect greywater from a washing machine only and where no modifications to the plumbing system are required or pumps are proposed to be used as part of the greywater system.
How do I get started?
It can be a simple do-it-yourself home project or it can get quite complicated depending on the greywater system desired. For laundry to yard systems, the design and installation can be quite simple using tutorials and agency guidelines. For greywater systems that intervene with any plumbing or require household modifications, contact a greywater system installer and local agency to acquire required permits, for a list of installers can be found at San Diego Sustainable Living Institute.
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Quick water saving tip: If installing a greywater system is not an option at your place (renters and washing machine-free homes), the next time you are waiting for the water to get warm in the shower, instead of letting it go down the drain, fill up a bucket or two. All that cold water coming out of the tap while you wait is clean water! Water your plants and be rest assured that you are conserving water!