The drought in california continues and is spurring the installation of grey water irrigation systems. Many cities are allow laundry to landscaping type greywater systems without a permit which reduces the cost significantly. The cost the permit itself isnt too bad – it is the time to apply for and get the permit that adds a big cost. Laundry to landscaping systems – even the most basic cost approximately $100 for parts and take 8 or so hours of labor to hook up – this greatly depends on the location of the washer and where you want to the water to go.

Here are photos of a recent installation that was made more complicated because the water was to go to the other side of the house and instead of running the irrigation pipes around the house – the pipes went under the house. With just 18 inches of crawl space and lots of spiders it added to the installation time.

valve set to direct water to the landscaping

valve set to direct water to the landscaping

One of the key elements of a laundry to landscaping system is the 3 way valve. It should be easily accessible and enable the homeowner to direct the water to the landscaping or the sewer. In the dry months the water can go to the landscaping but in the wet months the water can go to the sewer to ensure that the greywater when placed in the yard will be quickly absorbed. If it is already wet and the ground saturated the grey water has no place to go so it will collect – not good. It is very hard to imagine that much ground water in northern california but it is possible. This system is irrigating plants under the eaves of the house so teh ground there will never receive rain so the valve will likely never be turned.