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I believe I am correct in  understand the only simple greywater system possible without getting costly permits involves simple washing machine systems?. Am I to assume that permits for showers and sinks are possible but at a cost and careful restrictions? Have you ever found a locality that tried to raise funds in order for a homeowner to afford a kind of demonstration site that would use systems other than washing machines? I have seen your posts that encourage individuals to lobby their local officials with experimental or demonstration models that officials can closely monitor and i assume these proposed usages include showers and sinks? This would seem to indicate that localities have some leeway in interpreting state guidelines? Sorry if this is to many questions in one post. Thanks

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My responses in-line below:

I believe I am correct in  understand the only simple greywater system possible without getting costly permits involves simple washing machine systems?.

Washing machine systems that don’t alter the drainage plumbing do not require permits at all (so long as the guidelines are followed and the system is in a 1 or 2 family dwelling).

Am I to assume that permits for showers and sinks are possible but at a cost and careful restrictions?

Some cities offer the lowest fee permit for a simple, gravity-fed shower/sink system (but others don’t, it varies greatly on where you are pulling the permit). The lowest permit fee I’ve seen was in Willits, CA for $25. In a city like Oakland or SF, the lowest fee permit is closer to $200.

Have you ever found a locality that tried to raise funds in order for a homeowner to afford a kind of demonstration site that would use systems other than washing machines?

 

The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (water supplier for SF) had a program to rebate a permit. There is a lot of discussion right now at both the state and local levels of ways to lower/eliminate this fee for a permit for a simple shower system. Hopefully there will be a lot more examples of rebate or reduced fee permits in the near future.

I have seen your posts that encourage individuals to lobby their local officials with experimental or demonstration models that officials can closely monitor and I assume these proposed usages include showers and sinks? This would seem to indicate that localities have some leeway in interpreting state guidelines?

Yes. There is room for interpretation of the state code. How particular inspectors interpret the code is one potential problem for obtaining permits, but a larger problem is when greywater  systems are double or triple permitted. This means in some places a greywater permit is only one permit (a plumbing permit), but the same system installed in a different place may be required to get 3 separate permits (eg. plumbing, health, zoning). Santa Monica charges nearly $1,000 for the lowest fee greywater permit for the most basic system because of this triple permitting issue. Jurisdictions are able to address this issue and the various agencies can talk and decide on who should regulate greywater (and drop the multiple permits).

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