San Francisco removes gray water permitting requirements
San Francisco removes gray water permitting requirements

San Francisco removes gray water permitting requirements

A bill being introduced by San Francisco County Supervisor Scott Weiner means residents no longer have to obtain permits to recycle gray water. Normally, the permit would cost $250 and require an inspection from the city.

“We need to make sure the regulations are in line with the risk and the potential benefits for people reusing water,” Laura Allen, co-founder of Oakland conservation group Greywater Action, told the San Francisco Chronicle. “When it’s such a low risk, a permit is getting in the way because of the costs and the fear of inspectors.”

As it is, very few residents go through the permitting process. Only five permits for the installation of simple gray-water systems have been processed since 2012.

“Frankly, we are so far behind on water recycling and it’s absurd that so much pristine Hetch Hetchy water is used for irrigation and flushing toilets,” Supervisor Weiner told the San Francisco Examiner.

The cost of implementing a gray-water system can range from $300 to $20,000, depending on how elaborate the system is.

The bill will be presented at Tuesday’s board meeting.

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