Gray Water

LaundryGray water is the wastewater from bathtubs, showers, bathroom washbasins, clothes washing machines and laundry tubs. It doesn’t include wastewater from kitchen sinks or dishwashers. When possible, reusing gray water is an excellent way to recycle water and use it wisely.
To install a gray water system, which is permitted by the city or county of Riverside, please contact your local building department. Installation must comply with local plumbing codes.

You’ll need a permit for all gray water systems except for a single or dual residential house washing machine system, if the gray water system doesn’t alter the household plumbing (you can access gray water from the hose of the machine, not by cutting into the plumbing).

Systems not requiring a permit still have other requirements, including but not limited to a bypass valve, labeling, irrigation use only, irrigation system must be below mulch (2”), limited contact with humans and pets, no diaper or infectious garment wash water and no hazardous chemical wash water.

Gray water is not to be used to irrigate root crops or other crops where gray water or soil water with gray water would touch edible parts of the food crop.
If you install a gray water system and are a Western customer, please contact the District’s Development Service Office at 951.571.7100 to determine if you will need a backflow prevention device. Backflow prevention devices are required by law when there is an auxiliary water supply on a property. These devices prevent cross contamination of the potable water systems protecting all public water system users.

Hand WashingWestern’s Gray Water Code

Gray Water Systems and Rain Water Collection Systems

Gray water systems shall comply with Title 24, Part 5, of the California Plumbing Code and any local city and county regulations. To comply with California Code of Regulations water system protection requirements, backflow protection on the customer's potable water meter will be required if the gray water or rain water system has a hard piped distribution system, or is connected by any means to an irrigation system existing on the property.