The Sacramento City Council this week adopted requirements for some new buildings to install systems that would reuse water for irrigation and other non-potable purposes.
The changes require new commercial buildings of 10,000 square feet or more to install systems that reuse graywater for outdoor irrigation. Graywater is a term that describes used water from sinks, showers and clothes-washing machines.
New commercial buildings of 50,000 square feet or more will be required to install additional piping that would allow for future reuse of graywater for toilet and urinal flushing.
The new requirements go into effect July 2023.
“New construction with these systems will help make our city more resilient and better prepared to deal with ongoing severe drought,” said Yvette Rincon, chief of staff to the director of Utilities for the City of Sacramento.
Certain types of buildings — including childcare facilities and grocery stores in areas where nutritious food is scare — are exempt from the requirements.
As Sacramento and California experience continued drought, the changes are part of efforts to conserve water as well as reduce greenhouse gas emissions according to the City’s “2035 General Plan.”