Monday, November 15, 2010

ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY ALERT: San Mateo City Council Adopts Ordinance to Allow “Permit Free” Residential Graywater Recycling to Encourage Water Conservation

San Mateo, CA – November 16, 2010 –  In a step forward to encourage local residents to conserve water and help make the City of San Mateo a more sustainable community, the San Mateo City Council unanimously adopted an ordinance yesterday night to allow “permit free” graywater recycling systems in single and two-family home dwellings. 

In a vote to adopt the 2010 California Plumbing Code, the San Mateo City Council did  away with the need for homeowners to secure building permits in constructing graywater recycling systems that take water from clotheswasher and one single-fixture systems and re-use the water for irrigating trees and plants in the homeowner’s yard.  Other more complex graywater systems are still subject to the permit process. 

Graywater recycling, which is water reclaimed from home appliances such as washing machines, can be reused in landscaped areas of home to help conserve drinking water, reduce energy costs to homeowners, and help reduce overall water consumption.  

“This is an important day for water conservation for San Mateo residents,” noted San Mateo City Councilmember David Lim.  “The implementation of graywater recycling for our City residents was a priority for my first year in office, and I’m proud that our City Staff worked diligently to listen to the requests of our residents to help them find ways to conserve water.”  

Effective immediately, the Plumbing Code, which is Chapter 23.16 of the San Mateo Municipal Code, does not require a permit for clotheswasher and one single-fixture system water systems.  “A lot of the hassle of installing a graywater system just went away,” said Lim.  “That is good for the homeowner, good for the City, and good for the environment.” 

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