Napa Water Use - August 2008
Average Per Person Water Use for Major Cities - August 2008
Sonoma County Water Use Comparison - August 2008
Question and Answer

QUESTION:  I know that some of the cities use recycled water for irrigation. Can I do this at my home?


ANSWER: Graywater. Doesn’t sound all that appetizing does it? Well, it’s not meant for drinking. Graywater is a largely unutilized alternative to using virgin “blue” water for irrigation. This is the mostly soapy water that drains from our showers, sinks and washing machines (must not be contaminated with toxic cleaning products or soiled diapers). Normally this graywater ends up with the sewage flushed from toilets and heads to the wastewater treatment plant. But there are relatively easy ways to keep your graywater separate from “brown water” and filter it so it can be used for irrigation. It would be great to see more homes taking advantage of this resource, because the majority of residential water use is for landscaping. Unfortunately, until recently it was all but impossible to get a permit to install a residential graywater system here in Sonoma County. The same is true in many California counties.

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*This average only includes water from reservoirs and city wells. Does not include private wells or recycled/reclaimed water used for irrigation and other purposes.