City may encourage home water recycling

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water-conservationSAN DIEGO — The City Council will consider easing municipal code requirements for home-based water recycling systems at its Tuesday meeting.

Advocates say that so-called “graywater” systems, in which the outflow from clothes washers or showers is directed to landscape irrigation, can reduce household consumption by half.

A task force created to study plans submitted by Councilwoman Sherri Lightner recommended that systems that receive water from only a clothes washer should not require a city permit.

City permits should also not be needed for a homeowner to install a system that discharges less than 250 gallons per day for landscape irrigation, takes water from a clothes washer and wash basin, and doesn’t use pumps or affect the rest of the house’s plumbing, the panel concluded.

The task force also suggests that the Public Utilities and Development Services departments include information on simple graywater recycling systems in their public outreach and social media. The outreach should encourage users of such systems to avoid runoff.

The recommendations were forwarded to the full City Council by the Natural Resources and Culture Committee on a 4-0 vote.