The Sonoma County Graywater Working Group was formed in June 2008, following a water reuse workshop. This initial workshop focused on blackwater, graywater, groundwater, rainwater, and stormwater and its use and reuse. The workshop planted the seeds of possibility that in 20 years the idea of redirecting disinfected tertiary treated onsite wastewater into the house for clothes washing, toilet flushing and even showering would be commonplace.
While this group was trying to come up with “user friendly” graywater policies, the SB1258 graywater bill was moving through the State legislature and was signed into law by the governor July 22, 2008. At the same time, the County general plan was adopted which stated, “Where consistent with water quality regulations, encourage graywater systems, roof catchment of rainwater and other methods of re-using water and minimizing the need to use potable surface water or groundwater.”
These State and County policies determined the initial focus of the Sonoma County Graywater Working Group. The group’s first focus was to get up to speed on the State’s Graywater law, SB 1258. Other early activities included conducting a listening session that evolved into a survey of stakeholders and created a matrix of issues and indicators relevant to graywater. The survey results were compiled into a White Paper in February 2009 that formed the basis for the group’s comments to the Department of Housing and Community Development.
In 2013 the California Building and Standards Commission renamed the Graywater section of the Plumbing Code “Alternate Water Sources” and so our members voted to stay consistent with the state and this became the group’s new name.