Grey Water Plumbing in Ventura
On September 27th Rex Plumbing & Rooter pulled the very first permit for a grey water recycling system from the City of Ventura. The permit included recycling the grey water from a laundry washer, laundry tub, lavatory bathroom sink and tub/shower combination. The project also included some plumbing for a small kitchen and laundry remodel. The design had to be approved by the Building and Safety department before a permit would be issued. The design itself followed specifications and regulations accepted by the County of Ventura which was included in a hand-out pamphlet supplied by the VC Building and Safety. There was some design changes made after a few meetings with a Ventura inspector, but overall the process was streamlined. It is important to note that if all regulations are followed in the beginning of the design, then it is much easier to acquire the permit.
What is a Grey Water?
Grey water is water that comes from sources in your house such as sinks, showers, and washing machines. Because this water has been used, but isn’t dirty enough to require being treated in a municipal water treatment facility, a carefully constructed grey water system allows a home to capture this water and recycle it for other household applications such as watering gardens or other non-potable purposes. Some cities may have grey water systems in place at the city level, but Rex Plumbing & Rooter is the first plumber in Ventura to be permitted to build these systems at the household level.
Details of Grey Water Plumbing Systems
Special attention to detail regarding the locations of the discharge of the grey water and bypass valve locations to redirect after total saturation of the soil is most important. The main reason it took so long for grey water recycling to be accepted by municipalities is because of concern for pooling of water on the ground surface. Pooling of graywater on the ground surface can become hazardous due to bacteria forming, thus a danger to humans or animals. It is also important to note that the greywater recycling system can only be used for landscaping, not for gardens.
There is a setback regulation for graywater discharge of 5ft. from any structure, property line or public property. A small property may not be suited for such a system if there is not enough room to meet this requirement. The piping for the system may travel to a location through the setback area, but cannot discharge within it.
Hillside Plumbing Scenarios for Greywater Systems
Houses on a hillside or with raised floors are well suited for the system. My company drilled a hole through the footing of the house for the piping to reroute the gray-water outside. Since the system must work on gravity only, a raised floor or hillside is ideal. Each house is unique in regards to how and where a system can work. This system, we are currently installing now, will feed both front and back landscaping areas. There are valves located around the house that are to be used to reroute water to different zones for use and also back to the sewer. This same house is also on a septic system. When diverting grey water away from the septic system it can increase the time between pumping the tank and the lifespan of the septic system itself.
It has been an enjoyable learning experience creating, designing and implementing a grey water system. The experience alone is valuable for use on future installations.
Drought and Water Costs Concerns in California
It is important to create ways to live through this drought we are currently going through in Southern California. The cost benefit for installing a grey water recycling system can be found in reduced water bills or expensive septic tank pumping. The cost of water will continue to rise, and reusing water for landscaping when possible is a smart way to save. This project we are currently working on may reduce the homeowners water bill in half, that more than pays for installing the system in the first year alone!
Discuss Your Plumbing Project in Ventura
Grey water systems have been approved for use by the California Building Standards Commission and the California Secretary of State since 2009, and we’re excited to provide a modern plumbing service which saves our customers money and preserves the state’s most important natural resource. If you’re considering integrating a grey water plumbing system into your home in Ventura, or you’d like to discuss a new plumbing project for your home, please Contact Us.