Chula Vista considers greywater law: Process could save water, money

City would be first in state to have law

CHULA VISTA, Calif. - The city of Chula Vista could require all new homes built within city limits be greywater-ready.

Greywater is water taken directly from a shower, bath or washing machine and used in landscaping. The method has been used for years by retrofitting pipes from washing machines through walls. Chula Vista would be the first city in California to mandate all new homes have those pipes.

On Tuesday night, the Chula Vista City Council is expected to approve the first draft of the law.

"It's very simple. It's a minor plumbing addition," said Chula Vista Deputy Building Official Lou el-Khazen.

A newer washing machine can use upwards of 7,000 gallons of water every year. Older, top-loading machines can be twice that much. All of that water could be used to water grass and plants, and it would save water and money on water bills.

Even though Chula Vista could be the first city with a law, the practice of using greywater has been around for years.

"We wanted to make sure that they're installed properly in new homes to facilitate later use for landscaping," explained el-Khazen.

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