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California says yes to recycled water

September 1, 2011 |  2:57 pm

The state Senate today passed a bill allowing so-called graywater systems in homes and commercial buildings.

The bill, AB 849, is aimed at clarifying a patchwork of local regulation that has at times prohibited these "non-potable water reuse systems," which divert drain water for irrigation and other purposes.

If signed by the governor, the new state law would prohibit local jurisdictions from banning graywater systems, which have gained popularity as more municipalities face restrictions on fresh water. It would allow those jurisdictions to enact stricter graywater standards than those of the state only if they provide climatic, geographic and topographic reasons for the tougher regulations.

The state adopted uniform rules for installing graywater systemsin 2009, according to an analysis of the bill, which was sponsored by Assemblyman Mike Gatto (D-Los Angeles).

The Assembly already has approved the bill.


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-- Geoff Mohan

Photo: A graywater system collects and filters laundry water in an East Rancho Dominguez low-income housing development. Credit: Lawrence K. Ho/Los Angeles Times