Alternative resources like grey water and rainwater catchment and recirculating water systems can reduce water consumption, decrease the load on sewer systems, and provide alternative water sources for landscape.
Recirculating Water System Recirculating water systems can save water that would otherwise go down the drain while water in showers and sinks warms up.
Grey water is untreated waste water from clothes washers, showers, bathtubs, bathroom sinks, and laundry tubs used for outdoor watering. About half of the water used indoors -- or about 30 gallons per person per day from appropriate grey water sources -- can be used for landscape irrigation. The California Building Standards Committee adopted the Grey Water Code (PDF) that allows simple residential grey water systems to be legally installed. Wastewater from toilets, kitchen sinks or dishwashers is not allowed in California.
Harvesting rainwater, usually by attaching some kind of storage system to rain gutter spouts, is also gaining interest. Many believe the semi-arid climate in Contra Costa County is less-than-ideal for storing and using rainwater, but many people are looking into these systems.
Contra Costa Water District has provided the following lists of greywater and rainwater harvesting resources to its customers with facts for use and installation of these alternative water resources. CCWD does not endorse the vendors or products listed.