Graywater is untreated wastewater which has not come into contact with toilet waste. Graywater includes wastewater from bathtubs, showers, bathroom wash basins, clothes washing machines, laundry tubs, or an equivalent discharge as defined by the Los Angeles Department of Public Health. It does not include wastewater from kitchen sinks, photo lab sinks, dishwashers, or laundry water from soiled diapers. Examples of graywater in an industrial setting include wastewater from cooling tower blow-down; condensate from air conditioning and steam systems; process water; foundation drainage; swimming pool backwash operations; and fire pump test water.
There are two types of graywater systems:
A system connected to a clothes washer with a discharge capacity of 250 gallons or less per day, no storage tanks or pumps, and directly feeds a subsoil irrigation system. Untreated graywater shall not be used to irrigate root crops or food crops intended for human consumption that come in contact with the soil. In Los Angeles County, a construction permit is not required for a simple system, so plans are not required to be submitted to Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (Public Health).
A system other than a clothes washer system with a discharge capacity of over 250 gallons per day, is equipped with surge/storage tanks and pumps. A construction permit from the Los Angeles County Department of Building & Safety is required for this type of project and a plan is required to be obtained from Public Health.
Improper use of graywater can lead to serious health risks, such as water and vegetation contamination. The California Water Code, California Code of Regulations and California Health and Safety Code require all persons in Los Angeles County to work with the California Water Control Board and the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health to ensure the use of graywater is done appropriately. More information regarding Graywater system requirements are addressed in the 2019 California Plumbing Code; Chapter 15: Alternate Water Sources For Non-potable Applications.
The Cross Connection Program of the Environmental Health Division approves all Title 22 recycled water projects and alternate water system projects, such as graywater, rainwater, and stormwater.Title 22 of California’s Code of Regulations refers to state guidelines for how recycled water is discharged and used; Title 22 lists allowable uses for recycled water. The Cross Connection Program works with the California Regional Water Quality Control Board (RWQCB) who regulates water resources and drinking water. The RWQCB delegates authority to the Cross Connection Program for onsite approval of recycled water and alternate water system projects. The Cross Connection Program provides onsite approval of these projects by confirming the separation of the different water systems.
Complex water system designs will require a plumbing permit from the Los Angeles County Department of Building & Safety and a plan approval from Cross Connection & Water Pollution Control Program.
Report a Problem
If you have questions or concerns about graywater or a graywater reuse system in a home or facility contact the Cross Connection & Water Pollution Control Program at (626) 430-5290. For other questions or complaints, contact the Environmental Health Call Center at (888) 700-9995 or File a Complaint Online.
Monday - Friday
8:00am - 5:00pm
Tel: (626) 430-5290
Fax: (626) 813-3025
County of Los Angeles Public Health
Cross Connections & Water Pollution Control Program
5050 Commerce Drive
Baldwin Park, CA 91706