We are promoting safe and effective graywater use and are always looking for innovative ways to conserve water. Using graywater can be an important way to reduce potable water use and flows to our sewer system. Imagine using water from your bathroom sink, shower or tub or your clothes washer to help grow the plants in your landscape.
To pioneer the use of graywater in the City, we offer a Laundry-to-Landscape Graywater Program, a Residential Graywater Permit Rebate, and a Graywater Design Manual for Outdoor Irrigation. We also continue research on the effective and safe uses of graywater and other alternate water sources for on-site reuse in San Francisco.
What is Graywater?
Graywater is water from showers, bath tubs, washing machines, and bathroom sinks. It is water that contains some soap but is clean enough to water plants. For more information on graywater, see our Graywater FAQ.
San Francisco Graywater Design Manual for Outdoor Irrigation
We have developed a technical resource for homeowners and professionals who want to install graywater systems for outdoor irrigation in San Francisco. This manual provides a detailed step-by-step process for designing and installing laundry-to-landscape systems, as well as the basic steps for designing and installing branched drain and pumped systems. The manual provides an overview of the benefits of graywater systems, when and where to install these different systems, permitting requirements, what products to use, and operation and maintenance requirements.
Laundry-to-Landscape Graywater Program
The Laundry-to-Landscape Graywater Program offers a $112 subsidy towards the cost of a $117 laundry-to-landscape graywater kit. Up to 150 qualifying single-family and two-unit San Francisco residential properties are eligible to participate.
In addition to the subsidized kit, participants receive a free workshop on how to properly install the kit, in-home technical assistance from a graywater expert, access to a tool kit for installation, and a copy of the San Francisco Graywater Design Manual for Outdoor Irrigation.
Interested participants must meet the following site requirements:
- Have a working clothes washing machine onsite.
- Have a yard that is level or down-sloping from the location of the clothes washer.
- Own a one- or two-unit home in San Francisco; renters of one- or two-unit homes in San Francisco may participate with property owner approval.
If you meet the criteria above, please proceed with submitting your application. Final eligibility to participate will be determined upon review of applications. We have partnered with The Urban Farmer Store to help implement the Laundry-to-Landscape Graywater Program. For further questions about the program, contact The Urban Farmer Store at (415) 661-2204 or contact our Water Conservation Section at (415) 551-4730.
to watch an episode from PBS' Ask This Old House on installing a laundry-to-landscape system for one our local program participants!
Graywater Permit Rebate Program
For graywater projects that require a permit from the Department of Building Inspection (required for all other graywater systems except laundry-to-landscape), we offer a rebate up to $225 towards the cost of your permit. The permit rebate will help cover the cost of obtaining a permit from the Department of Building Inspection for your site-specific graywater system. The rebate is available for residential graywater systems with subsurface irrigation.