Graywater describes diversion of water outflows from dish washing, laundry machines, showers and bathtubs to be used for irrigation of yards and our landscape. Laundry machines are the most common graywater source. Graywater is very different from Black Water. Black water is human and animal wastewater, and is under no circumstances recommended or fit for any type of irrigation in an urban environment.

Graywater systems are legally subject to the Huntington Beach plumbing code, which reflects the CA plumbing code. The California Building Standards Commission (BSC) adopted new code language for the California Plumbing Code, Title 24, Part 5, Chapter 16A, Part I, that took effect August 4th, 2009. A permit is not required if a single source graywater system is installed, existing plumbing is not altered and these 12 guidelines below are followed.


The system must:















The system must NOT:



















There are many diverse opinions on graywater, favorable and non-favorable, and its place, use and value in our society. As Southern California grapples with the reality of water shortages and as climate variability may decrease future snowfall in the Sierra Nevada mountains, the use of safe and legal graywater systems reduces the demand for precious potable water, stretching our water resources while providing extra irrigation water to our yards and gardens.




Labeled 3-way valve




* If you are are thinking about installing a graywater system, remember to only use biodegradable soap that contains no salt.








Contact Information

City of Huntington Beach
Public Works Department
2000 Main Street
Huntington Beach, CA
Phone: (714) 536-5431
Fax: (714) 374-1573
Staff Directory

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