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.
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:
1. Reside in a single-family or two-unit residential property in San Francisco with an active SFPUC water account.
2. 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 for optimal system flow.
In addition to the above requirements, it is highly recommended to consider your landscape and the plants you plan to irrigate with graywater. Not all plant types tolerate graywater irrigation equally. Some plant types that do well with graywater irrigation include fruit trees, berries, and riparian plants that like irrigation (willow, maple, birch, water-loving plants).
Common plant types not recommended to be irrigated with a graywater supply include root crops, drought-tolerant plants, turf grass, and highly sensitive plants like some ferns and avocados.
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. For questions about the status of your application, please contact the Urban Farmer Store at firstname.lastname@example.org or (415) 661-2204.
L2L Graywater Workshops
Interested in learning what it takes to install a graywater system in your home? Attend a free L2L graywater workshop hosted by The Urban Farmer Store in San Francisco. RSVP is required. Due to limited space, priority will be given to approved L2L Graywater Program applicants.
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.
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.