Alternate Water Sources
|• Rainwater – precipitation collected from roofs or other manmade above grade surfaces
• Stormwater – precipitation collected from at or below grade surfaces
• Graywater – bathroom sinks, showers, and washing machines
• Blackwater – graywater, kitchen sinks and toilets
• Foundation Drainage – water that floods basements
• Other sources as approved by SFDPH
The Non-potable Water Program creates a streamlined process for new commercial, multi-family, and mixed-use developments in San Francisco to collect, treat, and reuse water for toilet flushing, irrigation and other non-potable uses. Established through an ordinance adopted by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in September 2012, this program establishes guidelines for developers interested in installing non-potable water systems and local regulations to ensure appropriate water quality standards. In a dense, urban center like San Francisco, the use of on-site alternate water sources is a key strategy for expanding potable water savings. This includes a range of strategies from rainwater harvesting for irrigation to blackwater treatment and reuse for toilet flushing, both of which are incorporated into the new SFPUC Headquarters (525 Golden Gate Ave).
In addition to incorporating on-site non-potable water use at our headquarters, the SFPUC is interested in encouraging others to do the same. Engage SFPUC early on in your process by completing the Non-potable Project Application. From here, the SFPUC can provide technical and regulatory guidance to help your project move forward including the following:
- Non-potable Water Calculator that will help estimate your project’s potable and non-potable water demands as well as the availability of on-site water sources.
- Step-by-step guidebook on the permitting process
- Grant program that will provide up to $250,000 for projects over 100,000 square foot in size implementing on-site reuse to replace either all toilet-flushing demands or 40% of overall water demands.
Please see the program resources listed below for links to the Application, SFDPH Rules and Regulations for Non-Potable Water Reuse, and other useful documents. For questions or additional assistance, please email email@example.com.