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Lightner Wants To Streamline San Diego's Graywater Policies

A sprinkler waters a California lawn.
Justin Sullivan
A sprinkler waters a California lawn.

Water that goes down the drain in a shower, tub, sink, or washing machine is called “graywater." In some cities, like Santa Barbara and Phoenix, it’s easy to set up household systems to redirect that water for use in outdoor irrigation.

Councilwoman Sherri Lightner wants to make that easy in San Diego. She said current rules are unclear and contradictory, which leads to less efficient use of graywater

"It offloads the sewage treatment plant, it reduces our consumption of water," she said, "and so it’s like creating a local supply of water and reduces the amount we need to import."


Lightner introduced her plan at a City Council committee meeting earlier this week. The city’s Water Policy Task Force will now take up the issue. Lightner is running against Republican businessman Ray Ellis in the District 1 City Council race.