Our Company

When the California aqueduct was built in 1963, few thought it would be overdrafted by the 1990s, but it was. ReWater® was founded in 1990 in Palo Alto to help California meet its water needs through legal, long-lasting, thus cost-effective greywater irrigation systems.

In 1996 we moved to San Diego to help that thirsty city satisfy its one-of-a-kind federal water reuse mandate. In 2009 we moved up to Thousand Oaks to better serve all of southern California. ReWater now leads the graywater reuse industry with experience, innovation, and decades of customer satisfaction.

ReWater worked tirelessly with the legislature, builders, architects, engineers, contractors, and landscapers to provide legal greywater irrigation systems that meet everyone’s needs for beautiful, sustainable landscapes. In 2000 the SWRCB found our recycling irrigation systems to be so robust that they qualify for US EPA SRF loans.

We’ve since evolved our systems to use rain and other benign forms of water. We don’t sell cheap systems that break down or clog up, or wastewater disposal systems that leave you needing to buy water and a real irrigation system, or rain harvesting systems posing as a greywater system. If you want the real thing that will last, you’re at the right place.

If every new residential building used a ReWater system, it would soon be the equivalent of any of the huge multi-billion dollar water projects that bring water to southern California, but from reuse!

Four other huge water projects delivering water to Southern California for culinary, agriculture, and landscape irrigation.
Other significant California water projects clockwise from top left: Hoover Dam, the San Joaquin River delta, the California Aqueduct, and the L.A. Aqueduct.

Time-proven systems

ReWater’s recycling irrigation systems have been in operation and evolved over three decades. They use greywater like an irrigation system is supposed to, with no unnecessary bells and whistles, and no programming or security nightmares. And they’re automatically backed-up with city water and/or rain so your landscape gets fully watered if you aren’t producing enough greywater on any particular day, and even when you go on vacation.

Each system now comes with our sophisticated but easy-to-use 5th generation controller, which can be adapted to harvest rain and/or satisfy Low Impact Development requirements. Cost-effective and simple to use, ReWater’s systems also provide all the features you’ll need. Compare it to the Irritrol® Total Control, but with water reuse!

We included all you could want to know about our systems on our website. If your design team would like to know more for a specific project, please call us at (eight oh five) 716-0104.

We remove the guess work

ReWater’s over three decades of R&D, design, manufacturing, permitting, plumbing, and landscaping experience removed the experimentation from water reuse in irrigation long ago.

We will provide you with a completely viable, easy to use, easy to maintain reused water irrigation system.  And we’ll give you the price before you make any design commitments. No guess work required!

Please call us at (eight oh five) 716-0104 to discuss your project!

Our Founder

Stephen Bilson, founder and CEO, ReWater® Systems
Photo credit to Breezeway Studio

Early Adoption and Activism

Using greywater was illegal when Stephen Bilson founded ReWater® Systems in Palo Alto in 1990. After serving two years on the California Graywater Ad-Hoc Committee, in 1992 Mr. Bilson sponsored California Assembly Bill #3518, which passed unanimously in both houses (almost unheard of). AB3518 resulted in our nation’s first-of-its-kind state greywater irrigation law. That law is California Water Code Section 14875 et seg.

In 1993, Steve Bilson received US Patent #5,217,323 on the greywater irrigation system that has evolved into what is known as the ReWater® System. It’s still the only commercially available greywater irrigation system in the US that is legal in all states.

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. Since then, he’s worked with those stakeholders and others pursuant to further legislation to improve the code several times. Now included are multi-family and commercial systems. The state graywater code is now Chapter 15 of the California Plumbing Code.

Mr. Bilson has also been involved in other states’ efforts to legalize greywater irrigation and continues to warn health regulators about the failure of NSF 350-certified systems that were only approved by using “greywater” that did not include hair and lint.

Proprietary systems across the arid West

From 1990 until 2010, Steve Bilson and ReWater worked only on greywater irrigation projects. Those projects ranged from simple home systems saving a few hundred dollars in water a year to sophisticated commercial systems saving tens of thousands of dollars in water and tens of thousands of dollars in wastewater treatment costs per year.

Since 2010, ReWater has incorporated rain into some systems, and sometimes rain is the primary source of water. It just depends on the project.

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 all using greywater.

He’s responsible for more permitted i.e. legal greywater irrigation systems in California than everyone else combined. Along the way, he’s helped clients as philosophically diverse as the Natural Resources Defense Council to the US Marine Corps and with landscapes as diverse as desert to almost tropical.

Discussing the values of greywater irrigation with home developers

Building Partnerships

Lately, this award winning innovator has been consulting for architects, engineers, and builders working on greywater-irrigated projects. Many of those systems are backed up with rain to satisfy Low Impact Development (LID) requirements. Some of these single-family and multi-family projects have been LEED Platinum or Gold certified.

If you’re a building professional, please call us to see how we can help your projects cost-effectively satisfy California’s increasingly greener rules.

Press and Trade


Goop Magazine. Gwyneth Paltrow.



The Water Zone. The Toro Company.



Commercial-Scale Greywater Systems: Case Studies from Orenco Systems and ReWater


Laundry to landscape: California’s drought solution?
Reuse residential greywater
Encinitas passes graywater ordinance


On-site Reuse of Graywater and Stormwater: An Assessment of Risks, Costs, and Benefts


American Society of Plumbing Engineers Annual Trade Show and Seminar


Gray water gardening: Best practices
Water the Lawn With Your Saturday Night Bath
Two-Year Permit Approval Nightmare Finally Ends For Santa Monica Resident
ePlan: A help or a hindrance?
Water Use Efficiency and Jobs


Gray matters; Water reuse systems
Irrigation and Green Industry (Weeha.com NPaper)
Greywater: Legal Liability or Untapped Resource? (BuildDirect.com blog)


San Diego People Start Using Gray Water as Rationing Looms
Is Graywater in Your Future?

Guide to Sustainable Living, Ed Begley, Jr.


Toro Irrigation Set To Host 2008 Watersmart Symposium
Graywater systems recycle bath, laundry water
Share a bath, save a lawn
Legal Greywater Class by Steve Bilson of ReWater® in Costa Mesa


Greywater Guerillas


Water Reuse Rushes Ahead


From graywater, green landscapes grow
Irrigate With Household Graywater


City of Oceanside City Council Meeting


The color gray—Regulations abound for uses of gray water
Inventive entrepreneurs—A wealth of modern-day Edisons call the Palo Alto area home