Don't let good water go to waste! Imagine using water from your shower or your clothes washer to help grow the plants in your garden. Using graywater can reduce the amount of drinking water used for landscape irrigation and reduce water entering our sewer system.
What is graywater? Graywater is water from showers, bath tubs, washing machines, and bathroom sinks. It is water that contains some soap but is clean enough to water plants. For more information about graywater and its approved uses, please read our Graywater FAQ.
NEW! Laundry-to-Landscape (L2L) Graywater Program
Our L2L Graywater Program is back and accepting applications! We've partnered with the Urban Farmer Store to offer residents a $125 discount off the purchase of a L2L graywater kit (retail cost of $175). The graywater kit includes the basic components necessary to divert your clothes washer water to your garden. Participants will also receive:
- A copy of the San Francisco Graywater Design Manual for Outdoor Irrigation
- Optional on-site consultation with a graywater expert to answer questions about your specific installation.
- A mandatory training to review the design, installation, and maintenance requirements of a L2L graywater system.
- Access to a free tool kit with the tools necessary for DIY installation.
To participate in the L2L Graywater Program, you must reside in a single-family or two-unit residential property in San Francisco with an active SFPUC water account. Your clothes washer must be at or above the landscape grade and your landscape should be flat or down-sloping from the location of the clothes washer. If you meet these criteria, please complete the online application below. A photo of your clothes washer and the landscape area intended for graywater is required as part of the application.
For a printable version of the L2L Graywater Program Application, click here. To learn more about the process of installing a L2L system, click to watch an episode from PBS' Ask This Old House where one of our own San Francisco residents installs a L2L system!
For questions about the status of your application, please contact the Urban Farmer Store at firstname.lastname@example.org or (415) 661-2204.
Graywater Permit Rebate Program
For graywater projects that require a permit from the Department of Building Inspection (required for all other graywater systems except laundry-to-landscape), we offer a rebate up to $225 to help cover the cost of your permit. The rebate is available for residential graywater systems with subsurface irrigation.
• Residential Graywater Permit Rebate Application
For non-residential graywater projects, please see our Non-Potable Program for more information on permitting requirements and available incentives.
San Francisco Graywater Design Manual for Outdoor Irrigation
We have developed a technical resource for homeowners and professionals who want to install graywater systems for outdoor irrigation in San Francisco. This manual provides a detailed step-by-step process for designing and installing laundry-to-landscape systems, as well as the basic steps for designing and installing branched drain and pumped systems. The manual provides an overview of the benefits of graywater systems, when and where to install these different systems, permitting requirements, what products to use, and operation and maintenance requirements.