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!)