In every state but Arizona, a legal greywater irrigation system is a system that uses greywater via an approved underground irrigation method. It does not matter if the water is run through an expensive treatment method or not, it must be used underground.
The reason for this is because the public safety and environmental health authorities have determined after extensive study of the science that greywater is relatively benign, and when used underground, very safe. With this type of system, they don’t have to worry about a treatment system failing and leaving the then-untreated greywater on the surface to run-off and contaminate surface waters.
All the claims about fancy treatment systems that can supposedly clean greywater to this or that “standard” don’t matter – you still have to use graywater in underground irrigation and you don’t have to treat it.
So, buy the only system that correctly prepares that water for underground irrigation and uses it in the only underground drip irrigation system that has been proven to work with greywater over two decades – the ReWater® System.
We help you save water and money in new construction by reusing your good water in our legal, time-proven, sophisticated yet easy-to-use filter and underground drip irrigation systems. You will irrigate, so choose the best irrigation system on the market - the ReWater® System. ()
ReWater Systems has led the legal greywater irrigation industry in the US since 1990. Our highly evolved systems have been working for decades in seriously beautiful homes and other residences, supporting expensive landscapes while earning their owners money from water reuse, run-off prevention, and wastewater reduction. We aren't offering a clever gimmick or mysterious box as seen on other websites and advertisements. Rather, we support architects, engineers, plumbers, and landscape professionals in new construction with our complete single-family and multi-family filter packages, all of which are backed up by potable water, some of which can also be backed up by rain, which all use our underground drip irrigation system, while satisfying all legal requirements. We now even offer a system for do-it-yourselfers.
We've never sold a system where we didn't first spend time discussing how our systems work and how we can help you and your professionals on your project, so don't be shy. If you're building a new residence that will require irrigation, please email or call us at (805) 716-0104.
REWATER® SYSTEM BASICS
Separate your good water from the bad, add our filter system, reuse it in our highly efficient drip irrigation system, and save money. ()
Once your shower, tub, bathroom sink, and laundry water (greywater/graywater) is separated indoors, and typically brought outdoors, a ReWater filter package is attached, with an overflow back to the sewer. That filter package captures and filters the water for reuse in a ReWater irrigation package, and the whole thing is backed up with potable water for when you need more water, like when you go on vacation. Altogether, the ReWater® System.
An average 3.2-person home reuses 46,000 gallons of water, year after year. Over a 30-year mortgage, that’s 1,380,000 gallons of water, worth over $6,500 at current rates and over $15,000 due to rate increases! And then there are your wastewater savings too! Large families, apartments, dormitories, and barracks, all produce far more water and reduce far more wastewater and thus save the owner far more money.
ReWater’s code-approved underground drip irrigation network uses your water up to 60% more efficiently than even properly adjusted sprinklers, saving you even more money. ()
Once captured and filtered, your water is ready for use in our time-proven underground drip network, which is at least 30% and up to 60% more efficient than the most common form of irrigation – sprinklers. This efficiency factor increases your usable water to 59,800 - 73,600 gallons for the average home, year after year, and far more for larger systems.
Such conservation multiplies your monetary savings and it also protects your fences, walls, and windows from spotting, discoloration, and moss. Because the irrigation system is underground, you don’t have to look at unsightly black tubes laying around your landscape either. Further, using your water underground allows the soil’s microbes to break down any organic matter, literally turning it into plant food. You’ll need to buy less fertilizer!
Underground irrigation leaves the soil’s surface dry and capable of absorbing any of the “stuff” that might otherwise run off and become a problem. ()
With underground drip irrigation, the first time it rains, accumulated fertilizers, animal feces, pesticides, silt and other “stuff” that would have run into the gutter and out to the watershed are instead absorbed by the soil. This virtually eliminates irrigation run-off, one of the leading causes of water pollution in the Western US.
One of the largest new expenses in residential construction is for reducing your urban run-off. This simple solution is worth a fortune.
ReWater's systems reduce your wastewater flows 50% ()
A residence with a ReWater system keeps up to half of its wastewater stream from being turned into sewage, thereby avoiding expensive treatment costs and environmental impacts. Older residences are built so all wastewater flows to the sewer system, thus all of it has to be treated like sewage. By separating your good water from the bad during construction, you will have reduced your sewage stream by half. Whether you’re trying to protect your expensive leach fields or be part of a big-picture solution, our systems significantly reduce wastewater treatment costs.
Most commercial sewer rate schedules already have accommodations for metered reductions in sewer flows, thus most commercial systems can pay for themselves on sewer savings alone without having to ask for the break!
Pumping this benign source of water around your landscape significantly decreases the water-embedded energy costs associated with delivering water to your home. Unless you live at the base of a large mountain range north of about the 37th Parallel, your water is coming from distant watersheds and being pumped all along its course. The farther you live from your real source of water, the more energy you save compared to using fresh water for irrigation and for treating wastewater from your home. In Southern California, that savings is in the 11-13% range.
1) If your home sits on a slab, it's not cost effective to cut into the slab to capture greywater.
2) If you have a raised foundation, but the master shower is on the top floor, that water is already plumbed into a sewer pipe going down a wall and it's not cost effective to tear out walls just to reuse greywater.
3) Because a complete greywater system has both a filter unit and underground irrigation, you will have to tear up existing landscape to install the underground irrigation, and that’s not cost effective if your irrigation system was already working.
However, some unique situations mitigate those factors, such as -
1) You were already going to cut into your slab as part of a major remodel.
2) You were already going to tear into those exact walls and plumbing as part of a major remodel.
3) You were already going to do either #1 or #2 and extensively remodel your landscape and you need a new irrigation system anyway.
We’ve been designing, installing, and/or supervising the installation of legal greywater irrigation systems for over two decades and have repeatedly seen what real obstacles you’ll be facing to legally retrofit a system. We hope this helps.
Isn't greywater too salty for plants?
No. Greywater isn't too salty for the vast majority of plants if you switch from powdered laundry products to liquids. Powdered laundry products are full of salts; they rely on salt's negative ions to loosen debris from fabrics, whereas liquids rely on enzymes to loosen debris. It doesn't really matter which liquid you switch to, as any are better than every powder. For acid-loving plants (that probably should be grown in the tropics and not the arid West), you will either need to add gypsum to the soil or "liquid gypsum" to the greywater itself.
Will graywater drown my drought-proof species?
No. Just like with potable water, your drought-proof species won't drown unless you over-irrigate them. Such vegetation is genetically accustomed to receiving lots of water only in the winter, but all plant life needs some water throughout the year. Try running your greywater valves once a week for drought-proof varieties instead of more often, as you would for other types of vegetation.
Is greywater irrigation legal?
Yes. Nowadays, most jurisdictions don't even require permits for clothes washer-only systems, and some jurisdictions don't require permits for systems that don't exceed a certain daily volume of greywater (usually about 250 gallons per day). Permits for other systems are obtainable in every jurisdiction in California, and in most Western states. Various local permit jurisdictions have various permit processes, but with a ReWater system, and a legal site, you can almost certainly obtain a permit. (A "legal site" usually means there is sufficient landscape to irrigate.) We offer a code compliance form with each system to expedite the permit process..