Friday, July 24, 2015

Update on Greywater in Pasadena and beyond

Interest in gray water systems is growing as the historic drought in California worsens. As we prepare for our presentation on gray water and sustainable living for the Arroyo Food Coop next Saturday, August 1, at 2:00 pm, we'd like to update you on what's happening with greywater systems at the state and local level. (For info about our presentation, see

Jill and I were pleased to learn that Pasadena Water and Power is launching a residential Laundry to Landscape (L2L) Greywater Program in August and will be hosting a Greywater 101 Symposium on August 29th , from 1-3 p.m. at Lake Avenue Church, in the Skyroom. This will be followed by monthly Greywater Installation Training Workshops, the first of which will be held on September 12th.    More information will be available on our website by the end of this week.

For more info, you can also contact:

Ursula Schmidt
Water Conservation Program Manager │ Pasadena Water & Power
150 S. Los Robles Avenue #200 │ Pasadena, CA 91101
O: (626) 744-3865  │ C: (323) 719-6065


We also received this email from Laura Allen of Greywater Action. To subscribe, contact 

What are you doing in this California drought?

While a subdivision in San Diego is "thumbing it's nose at the drought" with an advanced greywater recycling system installed to capture and reuse 2 out of every 3 gallons used in the home, Tom Selleck (the star from Magnum P.I.) has a real P.I. investigating his theft of water from a public hydrant to keep his 60 acre property green.

Interestingly, dry places like California aren't the only places with water issues. Cities like London, Tokyo, and Miami are at risk for running out of water.

And some California cities are planning ahead.  The San Francisco Board of Supervisors has recently passed an ordinance, the first of it's kind, to require new developments to use onsite water reuse systems – like greywater and blackwater systems – for non-potable uses like toilet flushing and irrigation. This makes San Francisco the first city in the nation to require developments to install recycled water systems.  The legislation also pushes city departments to use non-potable water for all cleaning and irrigation of public spaces within the next 5 years. 

Another city in California, Encinitas, passed an ordinance requiring homes to be plumbed for greywater.
Southern California has been slow to incentivize greywater systems. Listen to Laura Allen on NPR's Air Talk discuss greywater as LADWP comes under increasing fire for it's lack of support for the resource. 
Book Give Away

Want to learn how to install your own water recycling systems? Enter this give away on Good Reads and you could win a copy of The Water-Wise Home: How to Conserve, Capture, and Reuse Water in Your Home and Landscape.

Upcoming Workshops

Northern California and SF Bay Area:
  • Arcata. Free presentation: Create Your Own Water-Wise Home and Landscape. August 24th, 7pm, at the D Street Community Center in Arcata, CA. More information here.
  • Oakland. Hands-on greywater workshop. August 30th. 10am-5pm, cost $75. More information here.
Los Angeles area:
  • Drought Proof Your Landscape with Greywater. August 27th, 7pm at the Los Angeles EcoVillage. Cost is sliding scale $5-$15. More info here
  • LA. Design your own laundry greywater system. August 30th, 10am-12:30pm at the Los Angeles EcoVillage. Sliding scale fee $20-$40. More information and registration here.
  • Hands-on greywater installation workshop. September 5th, 11am-4pm at a private home in Topanga Canyon. Sliding scale $30- $100. More information and registration here.

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