“Imagine using water from your clothes washer to help grow the plants in your garden and supplement your outdoor water needs,” said SFPUC Water Conservation Administrator, Sergio Ramirez.
“Using graywater can reduce the amount of drinking water used for landscape irrigation and reduce water entering our sewer system,” said Ramirez. “One of the SFPUC’s laundry-to-landscape program goals is to not let perfectly usable water go to waste.”
The SFPUC’s laundry-to-landscape (L2L) program offers single family residential customers in San Francisco a $125 discount off the purchase of a graywater kit to direct water from the clothes washing machine into the garden for supplemental irrigation.
In general, graywater is considered any water from showers, bath tubs, washing machines, and bathroom sinks. It is water that contains some soap, but is still clean enough to water plants. Water from toilets or wash water from diapers is never considered graywater. Water from the kitchen sink water is not considered graywater in California.
For the SFPUC, the use of graywater helps preserve drinking water supplies by limiting the amount needed for landscape irrigation. In addition, another another benefit of using graywater is that it connects residents to their water supply, helping them understand where their water comes from and where it goes.
“Becoming conscious of our water supply encourages healthier product choices and engagement with our landscapes,” shared Ramirez. “Together with water-wise landscaping, rainwater harvesting, and conservation, using graywater as a resource helps reduce dependency on imported water and protects the urban watershed.”
L2L program participants can apply to receive training from the SFPUC’s program contractor Urban Farmer Store, along with access to a free installation toolkit, design manual, and onsite technical assistance to help design, install, and maintain their graywater systems.