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Monday, September 7, 2009

Greywater Systems - Approved for Sonoma County?

California Gives GREEN Light to Greywatwer Systems.

Responding to the increasing pressures on our state's water supplies, last month the California Building Standards Commission (CBSC) approved new standards that facilitate the use of graywater in homes and voted to make the standards effective on August 4th, 2009 rather than waiting until 2011.

The new standards will make it much easier to reuse water from bathtubs, showers, sinks, and washing machines for outdoor irrigation while protecting local water quality and public health. Senator Alan Lowenthal's successful 2008 legislation launched this revision of the greywater standards.

Graywater provides a cost-effective and reliable source of water that can be implemented quickly and helps guard against water shortages in future drought years.

While the new standards are a great leap forward, they don't yet tap the full potential for graywater. Clean Water Action's Jennifer Clary notes that "the big missing piece is indoor reuse, specifically hooking systems up for toilet flushing or laundry." While using graywater for irrigation serves only seasonal demands in many parts of the state, expanding the standards to include indoor uses of graywater would provide year-round water savings across California.

For more information on what a greywater system is:

Grey Water Treatment Systems

Grey (gray) water is water that has been previously used for a primary purpose (washing dishes, laundry, showering), but is still clean enough to be used for a secondary purpose (landscape or agriculture watering).

Black water is water that you cannot use after its initial use, such as from toilets.

Grey water treatment systems have their differences when it comes to setup. There are various stages and paths the grey water must go through to be ready for reuse. The focal point of this page is to show you a few of the different setups.

A typical grey water system (pre-treatment needed) includes a pre-treatment filter. The main purpose of this filter is to catch larger objects that would block smaller pipes farther down in the treatment process.

After the pre-treatment process the water would go into a planter via pipes. There are many different ways to arrange and place these pipes depending on what would work best for the current site in which the system is being used.

To keep current on legislation on this issue:
PCL INSIDER: News from the Capitol
1107 9th Street, Suite 360, Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone (916) 444-8726 • Fax (916) 448-1789 and
Copyright, 2008 The Planning and Conservation League. All rights reserved.

And on the Sonoma County front:
Sonoma County Conservation Action
540 Pacific Ave.
Santa Rosa, CA 95404

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