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Oceanside Floats The Idea Of Encouraging Graywater Systems

An undated file photo of water running from a faucet.
Promise Yee
An undated file photo of water running from a faucet.

The city of Oceanside is urging residents to consider installing graywater systems to help meet the state-mandated 25 percent water cutbacks.

Deputy Mayor Chuck Lowery said at a May 6 Oceanside City Council meeting the graywater systems allow household water to be used a second time.

“Graywater, first of all is the water that comes from your bath, shower or tub, and the clothes washer,” Lowery said. “So graywater is what goes into the sewage system, and we can use that a second time for landscape watering.”


Benefits are reduced water use, less water going through the city waste water system and a lower water bill.

CWA Graywater fact sheet
CWA information in installing a graywater system in your home
To view PDF files, download Acrobat Reader.

Diverting the water from the washing machine does not need a permit, as long as it meets certain conditions, according to San Diego County Water Authority guidelines.

Any other type of graywater system does need a permit. The cost of a permit varies by city. In Oceanside, permits cost $232.

Stephen Bilson, owner of ReWater Systems and a pioneer in graywater systems, urged the City Council to make graywater systems a requirement for new homes. He suggested pursuing funds from California’s Water Bond - Proposition 1, passed last November - to help lower system installation costs for homeowners.

Francesco Dorigo, CEO of Advanced Greywater Water Recycling Systems, said at the council meeting that graywater systems have the potential to reduce indoor household water use by 50 percent.


With many homes' personal water use already cut back, Dorigo said technology is the answer to further reduction.

Corrected: May 19, 2024 at 7:05 PM PDT
Promise Yee is a North County freelance writer. Contact her at Twitter: @promisenews. Facebook: promise.yee.1.eqcpn