44°
Clear
THU
 58°
 35°
FRI
 59°
 33°
SAT
 56°
 36°
SUN
 56°
 36°
MON
 54°
 35°

Graywater still a gray area

Cold, fresh water rushes out of the tap. You wash your hands with it. The soap and grime drains away.

Normally, that used water is piped straight to a wastewater treatment facility, where it is filtered, ponded and disinfected at great expense. But if the ideas of a small-but-growing minority take hold, it could be diverted to water a backyard fruit tree instead.

This is “graywater,” a term used to describe water that is not fresh but not toxic either – such as the used water coming from a bathroom sink, shower drain or laundry machine. It’s not potable, of course, but plants like it just fine.

With that in mind, why shouldn’t residents of single-family homes, especially those living in dry climates such as Sonoma’s, be watering plants while they take a shower?

“Wow, you’re talking about the things we talk about in our Alternate Water Sources Working Group,” said James Johnson, a senior environmental health specialist for Sonoma County’s Permit and Resource Management Department.


© The Press Democrat |  Terms of Service |  Privacy Policy |  Jobs With Us |  RSS |  Advertising |  Sonoma Media Investments |  Place an Ad
Switch to our Mobile View