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Graywater Laundry to Landscape Rebate Program

Water Conservation Rebates Have Increased! As of April 22, 2014, certain rebate amounts for several key programs have doubled, including the Graywater Laundry to Landscape Rebate Program.  This rebate increase is temporary, and is currently through December 31, 2015.

The Santa Clara Valley Water District provides a Graywater Laundry to Landscape rebate of $200 per single-family residential site for properly connecting a clothes washer to a graywater irrigation system based on the completion of the program requirements below.

For more information or to pre-qualify and receive a Graywater Laundry to Landscape Rebate Program Application, please email or call (408) 630-2684.  We will need to ask you a series of questions about your site prior to sending you an application.  A pre-inspection may be required. 


Applicants must:

  • Submit responses to a series of site assessment questions in order to pre-qualify, or agree to a pre-inspection; and upon installation, agree to a post-inspection. 
  • Submit a laundry to landscape design plan that outlines the location of the graywater outlet, diversion valve, and irrigation lines and receive district plan approval
  • Adhere to state and local regulations, including Chapter 16 of the California Plumbing Code, available online at:
  • Applicants may be asked to provide documentation that local ordinances have been met
  • Applicants must meet all system requirements listed below


  • All graywater must be distributed from the washing machine to a pre-approved landscape area that is large enough to absorb the graywater
  • Graywater must be contained on the site where it is generated
  • Graywater must not runoff into streets and waterways
  • Graywater must be distributed to the subsurface or released to an area covered by a minimum of two inches of soil, bark, rock, mulch, or appropriate permeable cover
  • No surface ponding of graywater is allowed
  • The irrigation system may have one or more valved zones. Each zone must be of adequate size  to receive the graywater anticipated in that zone
  • The system shall be designed to prevent clogging of any emitters
  • No overhead (spray) irrigation shall be connected to the graywater system
  • The system shall be designed and installed to prevent contact with humans and pets
  • Graywater shall not be used to irrigate root crops or edible parts of food crops that touch the soil
  • The system must allow the user to direct the flow of graywater to the irrigation system or the sanitary sewer septic system. The diversion valve must be clearly labeled and easily accessible
  • Water used to wash diapers or similarly soiled garments will not be used for irrigation; it will be diverted to the sanitary sewer or septic system
  • Wastewater derived from activities such as cleaning car parts, washing greasy or oily rags, disposal of waste solutions from photo labs or other activities that contain hazardous chemicals shall not enter the graywater system
  • The landscape area where the graywater is used must be located:
         1) Eighteen inches from any property line
         2) Two feet from buildings
         3) One hundred feet from wells, waterways, or other water sources
         4) Five feet from any septic tank
  • The site where graywater is used must be located in an area where seasonal high groundwater is at least five feet below ground surface. This will be verified by SCVWD using available information
  • The graywater system shall not include a potable water connection or a pump
    (Note: The pump in a clothes washer is not considered part of the graywater system)
  • The finished system must include an operating and maintenance manual. The manual is to remain with the building throughout the life of the system and indicate that upon change of ownership or occupancy, the new owner or occupant shall be notified that the structure contains a graywater system


Agency Guides

California Department of Water Resources Graywater Guide: Using Graywater in Your Home Landscape

City of Santa Cruz Graywater Rebate Program

City of Santa Rosa Graywater Rebate Program

City of Tucson Single Family Residential Gray Water Rebate Program

San Francisco Public Utilities Commission Graywater Design Manual

Books and Reports

Builder’s Greywater Guide: Installation of Greywater Systems in New Construction and Remodeling by Art Ludwig

Create An Oasis with Greywater by Art Ludwig

Greywater in California: Design, Managing, and Monitoring 2012 Conference Proceedings!community-outreach

Legal Graywater Design for Small Scale Applications in California by The Occidental Arts and Ecology Center WATER Institute

Principles of Ecological Design: Integrating Technology, Economics, and Ecology by Art Ludwig

Information on Graywater by Brad Lancaster

Residential Greywater Irrigation Systems in California: An Evaluation of Soil and Water Quality, User Satisfaction, and Installation Costs by Greywater Action in collaboration with the City of Santa Rosa and Ecology Action of Santa Cruz

Laundry to Landscape Grey Water Systems Instructional DVD by Art Ludwig

Codes and Standards

California Plumbing Code

Laundry Products

Soap and Detergent Information

Non-Profit Organizations

Alliance for Water Efficiency Graywater Introduction

Central Coast Greywater Alliance

Greywater Action

Oasis Design Center

Occidental Arts and Ecology Center (OAEC) WATER Institute

Pacific Institute

Regenerative Design Institute

Wholly H2O Graywater Overview