Wash Water (Gray Water)
Preventing graywater from entering our streets and storm drains helps protect our waterways from pollution! All sources of pollution, including runoff from greywater, are prohibited from leaving your property; only rainwater is allowed in the streets and storm drains.
Did you know…
Graywater is water that was used for various tasks, such as washing machines or showers. Graywater can contain chemicals, bacteria, viruses, detergents or soaps.
Graywater is untreated wastewater that can be used for watering landscapes through a designed system of mulch basins or subsurface drip irrigation.
Graywater should be closely managed to avoid runoff into our storm drains since it can degrade our water quality and harm aquatic life.
- Releasing pollutants directly or indirectly into the storm drain system is a violation of the County’s Watershed Protection Ordinance (WPO).
What can I do?
- If you want to install a graywater system to irrigate your yard or lawn, please refer to the Department of Environment Health program and regulations: Gray Water Systems and Gray Water Frequently Asked Questions
- Use Best Management Practices (BMPs): BMPs are techniques or controls used to prevent or reduce the discharge of pollutants, such as graywater, into the storm drain system. Some BMPs for graywater might include using non-toxic, biodegradable products or ensuring that your graywater tank and outlet are well away from stormwater drains.
Want to learn more?
The resources below provide suggested BMPs and further information on how to protect our waterways:
- County of San Diego - Department of Environmental Health - Gray Water Systems
- San Diego County Guidance Handbook to Reduce Water Pollution
Know before you go….
Don’t store it—graywater must be appropriately diverted into the landscape or sewer immediately.
If you would like to report a graywater concern, have questions about our program, or would like additional information call the County Storm Drain Pollution hotline at: 1(888) 846-0800 or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for doing your part to protect our waterways!