Marin County Seeks Ways to Make Use of Graywater

City of Marin

City of Marin

In the face of worsening drought conditions, the Marin County Board of Supervisors this week has decided to authorize participation in the Mill Valley/Marin County Sustainable Water Pilot Project in conjunction with WaterNow, a nonprofit dedicated to promoting sustaining water technology.

The program’s goal is to demonstrate the potential to save water by making us of graywater, conserve energy, lower water bills, enhance economic development and increase water supply security.

< p>Graywater is often defined as household wastewater that does not contain serious contaminants. Most of it is generated by baths, showers and clothes washers. Wastewater generated by toilets, kitchen sinks and dishwashers is called blackwater.

“Given our current drought conditions, this collaboration could not be more timely,” said Marin County Board of Supervisors President Kate Sears. “Graywater and water capture systems allow us to use water more efficiently and be better stewards of our water and energy resources. I’m excited about the launch of this pilot project.”

Other participants are the Marin Municipal Water District, the City of Mill Valley, the Tamalpais Community Services District and the Marin Builders Association.

The Board of Supervisors has been encouraging water conservation since 2011, adopting local regulations that allow residential property owners to obtain County approval for graywater systems without the time and expense of a conventional permit review process.

More recently, the County Community Development Agency has ramped up efforts to actively promote the benefits of graywater and the relative ease in which consumers may install and use simple graywater systems for outdoor irrigation.

The Sustainable Water Supply Project would be led by WaterNow, and the County’s role would focus on helping identify priorities and needs, providing data, securing resources, identifying new partners and promoting the effort.

Rebecca Ng, Marin County Deputy Director of Environmental Health Services at the county, presented the pilot program to the Board of Supervisors.

“We are not sure how things are going to be next year, so we’re trying to just encourage people to conserve and safely reuse water when they can,” she said.

To learn more about the project, contact WaterNow Executive Director Cynthia Koehler at ck@waternow.org or (415) 515-0511.

Share Button
Print Friendly

3 Comments

  1. Janey

    Yeah, recycling is fine and so is conservation but we are supposed to save 20% so they can build more houses we don’t need and create more burden on our already collasping infrastructure.
    Why does the MMWD continue to handout water permits to high-density affordable (sic) housing that is displacing people of color and poor under the ruse of “affordable Housing”? $3000-$4500 per month is NOT affordable.

    Just wait and see what they have planned for Marin City with the new PUD designation from the Marin Co. Board of Supervisors. . It is the best kept secret in town. Might also ask D. Steinhauser from the Metropolitan Transportation Commission why she won’t release public documents. They are a commission (appointed) and yet they feel they do not have to disclose their plans. The County Board of Supervisors are more secret than the NSA. Where is Eric Snowden when we need him?

  2. EDWARD STEWART

    DEAR AUTHOR,

    I READ WITH INTEREST THE GREY YOUR WATER ARTICLE.

    GREY WATER AND THEIR SYSTEMS ARE SUBJECT TO STATE LAW. COUNTY HEALTH AGENCIES ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR INSURING THAT STATE LAWS ARE MET.

    WATER FROM SHOWERS AND WASHING MACHINES CAN BE DANGEROUS. IF A HOUSEHOLD INDIVIDUAL IS ILL THEN PATHOGENS WILL FIND THEIR WAY THROUGH THE GREYWATER SYSTEM. THE SHOWER WATER FROM AN ILL INDIVIDUAL WILL CONTAIN VIRAL AND BACTERIAL CONTAMINATES. THE SAME MAY BE SAID ABOUT WASH WATER FROM CLOTHING OF THOSE WHO ARE ILL. THEIR CLOTHING CAN AND LIKELY WILL FECAL CONTAMINANITION.

    SINK WATER IS THE LEAST LIKE SOURCE FOR HUMAN FECAL CONTAMINATION.

    SAVING WATER IS AND HAS BEEN MORE EFFECTIVE WITH OLD TIME TESTED MOTTO’S LIKE, “IF ITS YELLOW IT’S MELLOW, IF ITS BROWN, FLUSH IT DOWN. THIS HAS BEEN THE BEST SOLUTION FOR SAVING OUR WATER RESOURCES AND SHOULD BE THE PRIMARY FOCUS OF ATTENTION.

    THE MERE FACT THAT SHOWER WATER AND WASH WATER HAVE BEEN DECLARED “NOT A SERIOUS CONTAMINATE’ IS WORRISOME ON ITS FACE. THESE GREYWATERS CAN BE VERY SERIOUS DEPENDING UPON THE HEALTH OF THOSE IN ANY GIVEN HOUSEHOLD.

    TY FOR CONSIDERATION OF MY COMMENTS.

    EDWARD J STEWART
    FORMER CHIEF OF ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH FOR THE COUNTY OF MARIN.

  3. brady wedman

    Edward Stewart, can you get in contact with me?

    There is an OWTS issue I’d like to speak with you about.

    Thanks,

    Brady

    bwedman@yahoo.com

Post a comment

Your email is never shared. Required fields are marked *

*
*

Current day month ye@r *