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Great Greywater! GreenTown effort helps resident use laundry wastewater to water landscape

Attendees get up to speed on greywater rules and regs.

Greywater systems take water from bathroom sinks, showers, tubs, and washing machines and reuse it elsewhere, typically on the landscape. In Santa Clara County, more than half our water is used for landscaping. We can cut our outdoor water use by reusing laundry water, which accounts for about 10% of the typical resident’s water use, with a “laundry-to-landscape” greywater system, the focus of a March 10th GreenTown Los Altos workshop.

Participants prime and glue greywater distribution pipes.

Twenty-four highly-engaged participants gathered at the home of Kacey Fitzpatrick, former GreenTown Executive Director, to learn about and install a system that would use Kacey’s dirty laundry water to water fruit trees throughout the yard. Greywater guru, Forrest Linebarger, member of GreenTown’s Leadership Team and Principal of Vox Design Group, an award-winning sustainable design firm, led the workshop.

After learning about the rules and regulations governing greywater systems in California, participants got their hands dirty, cutting and laying PVC pipe, priming and gluing joints, and installing valves. Linebarger and Fitzpatrick had done some work previously — digging lines and setting up the interior plumbing — so the group was able to complete the installation in just a few hours and witness the new system in action. Laundry water flowed freely to three mulch basins strategically placed around Fitzpatrick’s yard.

If you are interested in hosting a GreenTown workshop at your home or would like to learn more about what GreenTown is doing to reduce water use, contact

To find out more about greywater:

  1. Check out this KPIX5 News Story featuring a system Forrest installed in Mountain View

  2. Visit WhollyH20 and Greywater Action.

  3. Click here for a list of Bay Area installers.

Linebarger hands Fitzpatrick her new greywater system manual.

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