Our Founder

Our Founder

After college and years in government then corporate work, Stephen Bilson founded ReWater Systems in Palo Alto in 1990. After working two years as a participant on the California Graywater Ad-Hoc Committee, Mr. Bilson sponsored Assembly Bill #3518, which passed unanimously and resulted in the first-of-its-kind state greywater irrigation law, Water Code Section 14875 et seg.

In 1992, Steve Bilson received US Patent #5,217,323 on the greywater irrigation system that is now known as the ReWater System, still the only commercially available complete greywater irrigation system in the US.


In 1992-1994, he worked with virtually every local, regional, and state building safety and health protection agency in California to help write the first state greywater irrigation code for single-family systems, Appendix G of the California Plumbing Code (CPC). Since then, he’s worked with that same group and more to improve the code several times. The state code is now Chapter 15 of the CPC.

Steve Bilson has also been involved in other states’ efforts to legalize greywater irrigation.

From 1990 until now, Steve Bilson has worked only on greywater irrigation related projects, ranging from simple residential systems saving a few hundred dollars in water per year to sophisticated commercial systems saving thousands of dollars in metered water and thousands of dollars in wastewater costs annually.

For years, he was the Responsible Managing Employee for ReWater’s landscape contractor’s license #798547 and provided hands-on supervision of numerous residential and commercial landscaping projects.

Stephen Bilson is responsible for more permitted greywater irrigation systems in California than everyone else combined. He’s helped clients as philosophically diverse as the Natural Resources Defense Council to the US Marine Corps with landscapes as diverse as desert to almost tropical.

Lately, this award winning innovator has been formally educating and consulting with architects, engineers, builders, plumbers, and landscaping professionals working on greywater-irrigated projects, sometimes backed up with harvested rain, across the arid West. Many of these single-family and multi-family projects are now LEED Platinum or Gold certified.

Stephen Bilson has also trained numerous protégés up and down the state who now install and/or supervise the installation of ReWater® projects themselves. If you’re building large projects or tracts of small projects in the arid west, he’d like to talk with you!

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