The Grey Water Project
Conserving Water Starts With Us

Requirements for no-permit systems in California
​An easy way to direct flow back to the sewer/septic (like a 3-way valve). The valve must be labeled.

  • send the water to irrigate landscape plantings and keep the water on the same property it is produced and follow set-backs listed in the code
  • Have a maintenance manual. Discharge greywater under a 2″ cover of mulch, plastic shield, or stones.







Grey W​ater for Trees and Flowers

  • Most flowers can be watered with grey water(except primroses, foxgloves)
  • Plants that like acidic soils
  • Ferns, azaleas, camellias, blueberries
  • All large trees can be watered with grey water
  • Most Fruit trees can also be watered with grey water
  • If you are not watering with an organic detergent make sure your tree is  salt tolerant

(ex: Honeysuckle, Red Oak, Ornamental Pears)

  • should not be irrigated with water from powdered detergents 










Grey Water For Vegetables

  • Where the edible part of the fruit or vegetable is above ground, and it is eaten raw, the graywater must NOT come into contact with the edible parts.
  • If you water by bucket, you should be VERY careful
  • It is best to use a drip-irrigation system
  • Do not use grey water for radishes, salad onions or lettuce
  • Do not use grey water for root crops especially carrots and potatoes
  • USE grey water for berries, corn, beans ad similar vegies

The system must not:

  • contain diaper water
  • contain hazardous chemicals (such as from a home photo lab)
  • have pooling greywater or runoff
  • make greywater accessible to people or pets (such as in an open tub)
  • include a pump (except the washing machine’s internal pump)
  • connect to the potable water supply
  • affect other parts of the building, such as the electrical or structural components.A clothes washer system system in compliance with all of the following is exempt from the construction permit specified in Section 1.8.4.1 and may be installed or altered without a construction permit:

California’s greywater code is found in Chapter 16 of the California Plumbing Code (CPC). Under the current code washing machine systems can be constructed without a permit in single family homes (1 or 2 units), so long as the guidelines are followed (see below). Other types of systems require a permit in the state. The state code includes both the residential code “HCD” and the commercial code “BSC”