The impact of California's drought on San Diego County

Recycling Gray Water an Option in California Drought

By Liberty Zabala
|  Thursday, Feb 27, 2014  |  Updated 1:17 PM PDT
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California is in the midst of a drought, and many San Diegans are looking to cut back their water usage. One option: Recycling the gray water in your home. NBC 7's Liberty Zabala looks at ways to convert your home to save gallons of water a day.

California is in the midst of a drought, and many San Diegans are looking to cut back their water usage. One option: Recycling the gray water in your home. NBC 7's Liberty Zabala looks at ways to convert your home to save gallons of water a day.

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California is in the midst of a drought, and many San Siegans are looking to cut back their water usage.
One option is to recycle the gray water in your home.

Every time you wash a load of laundry, you use roughly 45 gallons of water.

“Californians use a lot more water than they should,” said Brook Sarson of H2ome.

But what if you could use those gallons of water again?

“You can use it on trees, shrubs, vines anything like that,” said Sarson.

Brook Sarson installs systems that takes gray water from your washing machine and recycles it elsewhere.

“The gray water kind of extends out in this area so every time we do laundry, instead of use having to come out and water it or set up a separate irrigation system, every time we do laundry this whole area is taken care of,” says Sarson.

Another system uses pipes to catch rain water from your roof.

“People underestimate how much water comes off our roofs. The rule of thumb is 1000 square feet of roof will shed 600 gallons in one instance of rain,” says Sarson.

And now cities are catching up, Chula Vista requires all new homes to be pre-plumbed for gray water systems.

If you install it yourself, city and county rebates you can get some of the materials for free.

“It’s very easy. The rebates are there,” says Josh Robinson with the San Diego Sustainable Living Institute. “For about $250 you can go and do it yourself with a couple of friends in a few hours.”

Brook and Josh will hold free workshop in City Heights to teach you how to install these systems.

They will also hold an open house of a home that was recently converted on March 15th.

For information on rebates, visit:

City of San Diego Rebate
SoCal WaterSmart Rebate

Or click here to sign up for a workshop.

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