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Using Graywater for Irrigation

Diminishing water supplies is a world-wide problem. In the United States, with population increase and an increasing decline in water supply, the best current solution is a reduction in water use. A great solution to reducing water use in landscaping is using graywater irrigation! WHAT IS GRAYWATER? Graywater is all wash-water waste generated by a home or business. This is water from the washing machine, the sinks, bathtubs and showers and can be re-used! However, toilet waste and waste from garbage disposals and dishwashers is blackwater which contains high levels of nitrogen and pathogens and cannot be used in irrigation. GRAYWATER CAN BE USED FOR IRRIGATION: Yes, graywater can be used for irrigation, but the codes and regulations on this process varies from state to state. Californians, for instance, have used graywater irrigation systems illegally for many years. Due to these practices, the California Graywater Code was re-written with significant changes. This code designates three types of graywater systems: Clothes Washer System: This is probably the most commonly used as it is the easiest to implement, but there are restrictions on its use. It can use only a single washing machine in a family dwelling, and must be a domestic, not a commercial machine. This system may only use gravity or the pump from the washing machine itself to irrigate the desired areas in the yard or garden. The washing machine system may use up to 15 gallons per day per person in the household. It does not require a construction permit as long as it does not require cutting of the pipes that exist. Simple System: This system also serves a one or two family residence. The discharge of graywater is greater than the clothes washer system, and discharges up to 250 gallons per day. A construction permit is needed for a simple system. Complex System: This is a graywater system that uses over 250 gallons per day, and also requires a construction permit. The simple and complex systems are subject to inspection and possible percolation tests until they are approved.To install a whole-house system is a fairly simple matter in new construction, but is difficult in existing buildings.


Two inch covering regulation: The irrigation system using graywater must be covered by 2” of some kind of material to avoid contact with the graywater. Drip system of graywater irrigation: The drip system works the best with graywater irrigation. Spray irrigation is not to be used with graywater. Also, graywater is not to have run-off or ponding, and cannot reach any body of water or storm drain. No irrigation of crops intended for human consumption: Graywater may not be used for growing food. In addition, human contact with the system should be minimized.

More info here: Pacific Vista Landscape is focused on water conservation. Re-using your graywater to irrigate your landscape can not only result in water reduction, but is a great way to keep a beautiful garden. Our professional team are experts with the latest irrigation technology and can implement a graywater re-use system for your property. We will even evaluate your current system for free! Give us a call and see how we can save you water AND money now and in the years to come!

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