Dear Drought Fighter: Graywater Can Be Recycled

Q: Is it feasible to run washing machine water onto the grass? I remember my father doing this and it kept our grass green in the hot San Fernando Valley.

A: Homeowners don’t need permits for recycling graywater from washing machines to irrigate certain types of landscaping such as grass when leach-line systems comply with rules set by local agencies (such as the cities of Oceanside or San Diego). Graywater also includes wastewater from bathtubs, showers and sinks, but recycling water from those sources requires a permit. Graywater does not include water from toilets and other sources that could spread pathogens.