A bill authored by Assemblyman Mike Gatto (D-Los Angeles) to help homeowners who want to install a “graywater” system was signed into law last Saturday after receiving bipartisan support throughout the legislative process. Graywater systems allow people to, for example, use their shower water to water the lawn. However, homeowners and businesses wishing to conserve water by installing graywater systems face a confusing patchwork of regulations across California, with many jurisdictions or local building inspectors simply prohibiting installation of water-recycling systems because of a poor understanding of the technology.
The new law eliminates the confusing regulations applied by certain local building inspectors and replaces it with a clear state standard, which encourages water recycling. It further requires cities seeking to apply stricter standards to make public findings showing that a stricter standard is necessary for climatic, geological, topological, or public-health reasons in their locality. “I am very pleased that we have come together as a State to enact this important legislation,” said Gatto. “By requiring local governments to adopt uniform graywater standards, we can increase our water-conservation efforts and allow homeowners to use water more efficiently while encouraging the growth of the graywater industry in California. It is crucial that we reduce stress on the Southern California water supply to ensure that we have enough clean water to go around, and graywater helps us do just that.”
(Mike Gatto is the Assistant Speaker Pro Tempore of the California State Assembly. He represents the cities of Burbank, Glendale, and parts of Los Angeles, including Atwater Village, Franklin Hills, Los Feliz, North Hollywood, Silver Lake, Toluca Lake, Valley Glen, and Van Nuys. He has served in the Assembly since June 2010. — Website of Assemblyman Mike Gatto: www.asm.ca.gov/gatto)