Graywater irrigation in Sacramento County? Nein, ist verboten!

I’m remodeling my house which is located in Sacramento County (versus the City of Sacramento–different building departments). One of the things I had been considering was re-using my family’s graywater “waste” for irrigation. Not only would this save fresh water, it would lighten the load on our local wastewater treatment plant. But apparently this is forbidden in Sacramento County. See the FAQ on “Does laundry/wash/bathing waste water (grey water (sic)) need to be plumbed into my septic system?” for their justification.

In neighboring Sutter County, not only is graywater irrigation allowed, it’s encouraged! See the Sutter County General Plan, page 55:

4.A-3 The County shall encourage water conservation practices, including drought-resistant landscaping, drip irrigation systems and the use of “graywater” for landscaping irrigation.

(Note that Sutter County uses the more common “graywater” spelling, while Sacramento County uses the “grey water” variant. I realize that “gray” and “grey” are both considered correct spelling, but let’s standardize on “graywater”. We’re not talking about water that is gray in color, which is what “gray water” implies, and “grey” is listed in my dictionary as British spelling so that rules out “greywater”. My thanks to Sutter and Sacramento counties for providing me with an excuse to put all four spelling variants in this article–it’ll turn up on web searches for any of these four spellings now!)

About Jim Vanderveen

I'm a bit of a Renaissance man, with far too many hobbies for my free time! But more important than any hobby is my family. My proudest accomplishment has been raising some great kids! And somehow convincing my wife to put up with me since 1988. ;)
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One Response to Graywater irrigation in Sacramento County? Nein, ist verboten!

  1. Charles Cone says:

    (*FYI, Charles Cone’s email address is in the same domain as the company he’s touting below. I have approved this comment because the product may be useful, although personally I don’t think it’s a good idea to “store” greywater for more than a few minutes. –Jim*)

    Brac Greywater Recycling Systems

    The Brac Greywater Recycling System is available in the Atlanta region from Southern Energy Solutions, Marietta, Georgia, United States.

    The Brac Greywater Recycling System takes in greywater (bath/shower/laundry water), filters and treats it, then sends it on demand for toilet flushing. By reusing greywater for toilet flushing, the typical home can save 30% or more on potable water consumption.

    The Brac Systems are available in residential-use sizes 250/350/450 liters (66/92/119 gallons US) and commercial-use sizes 4200/5000/6600 liters (1110/1320/1745 gallons US).

    Southern Energy Solutions

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