Support BEC

Help The World
Click Here

Stay Informed


Upcoming Events


Join us Friday, May 3rd at the Chico Women's Club
to celebrate the
40th Annual Endangered Species Faire


LIVE performances by


Cedar Grove and the Chico Creek Nature Center


Top-Rated Nonprofit!

You are here


Using Greywater is legal in Butte County.  In 2009 a drought motivated the state of California to update Chapter 16 of the California Plumbing Code to allow residential greywater use without a permit.  Greywater is water from your bathroom sinks, showers, tubs, and washing machines and is a constant and consistent water supply for landscaping in our area (which can go 8 months without rain).   

Things to consider when installing your greywater system

  • Simple systems are best.
  • Don't store greywater.
  • Minimize contact with greywater. 
  • Water should go directly into the ground through a mulch basin, not pool up or run off.
  • Install a 3-way valve that will allow you to direct water to the garden or the sewer (which is essential if you are washing diapers or contaminated clothing).
  • The easiest way to use greywater is to pipe it directly outside to plants and trees.
  • Put nothing toxic down the drain. (no bleach, no dye, no bath salts, no boron), (yes biodegradable shampoo and salt free laundry soaps available in bulk at Chico Natural Foods).
  • Greywater can be used to water vegetables as long as it does not touch the edible part of the plant.  (example - no potatoes)
  • Try to match the amount of greywater you are producing to the needs of your plants.
  • Butte County Environmental Health prefers residents register their systems free of cost so they can better estimate how many systems exist. 
  • Click here for a list of supplies and materials you'll need for a washer system.

Helpful Links

Greywater Action out of Oakland has been promoting, hosting workshops, and installing greywater since before it was legal and has a wealth of information. 
Check out the San Francisco Greywater Installation Manual to help you design your own system.

Local Installers

Brian Ladwig-Cooper, owner of Gaia Creations Ecological Landscaping and Permaculture Solutions, is a certified permaculture designer. His contact info is (530) 321-9715 or (530) 828-6390.

Gaia Creations LogoGaia Creations Logo

John Whittlesey, owner of Canyon Creek Design has been trained by Greywater Action.  His contact info is or (530) 774-4955.