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Talk:California greywater regulations and design

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Formatting suggestion[edit]

For California design criteria try pasting in the following formatting (after clicking edit here): The criteria set by Chapter 16A are given below, however it is important to check with local enforcement agencies for other local rules and regulations.

All greywater systems must meet the following requirements:

  • Not connected to potable water system
  • Design is based on location, discharge capacity, soil type and groundwater level
  • The area of discharge must be on the same plot as the source, unless lawfully exempt.
  • No construction until plan is approved (except for cloths washer or single fixture system)
  • Dual discharge must be available to switch between greywater and sewer
  • No dipper washing or contact with any fecal material
  • Greywater may not
    • be used for spray irrigation
    • pond up
    • runoff
    • discharge to storm sewer
    • discharge to surface body of water
  • The discharge point must be covered by 2 in (51mm) material (mulch, rock, soil)
  • The greywater can not be used on root crops or edible parts of food crops

Greywater systems are separated into three categories:

  1. Single Fixture or Cloths Washer
    • no permit required
  2. Single System
    • exceeds washer or single fixture system
    • capacity is 250 gallons per day or less
    • Construction permit required
  3. Complex System
    • multi family or multi dwelling unit
    • capacity is greater than 250 gallons per day
    • Construction permit required

Construction Permits

  • Applies for Small or Complex Systems
  • Identify groundwater level and soil type for absorption qualities
    • may use a 3 foot vertical test hole to show groundwater is lower than hole
  • All components must be water tight
  • Must be inspected by enforcement agency
  • Other local regulations and inspection requirements many apply (contact local enforcement agency)

Project Feedback From Beth[edit]

Teresa, while reviewing your spreadsheet model, I found it difficult to read the Zone 1 on the map... so here is a suggestion for a different version of the CA ET map.... but you may have reasons why this map will not work http://wwwcimis.water.ca.gov/cimis/images/etomap.jpg

You should include some other tabs on your spreadsheet model

  1. Instructions for use
  2. Explanation of calculations

I think some people will be very interested in your calculator…. But they will not find it… because they will not be patient enough to read the third sentence in your overview paragraph. Perhaps something like the following, with links directly to that information. “This page will provide you information on three topics:

  1. History of Greywater Use in California
  2. Current California Greywater Regulations
  3. Backyard Greywater Design Calculator

In the first section, you could also state what this page is not…. And then link to relevant Appropedia pages for those topics.. Lonny may have suggestions for Appropedia style here.

Avoid words such as “looking”. Search your document for these words and then edit for clarity.

Search on grey and gray and be consistent. Avoid using both. Looks like Appropedia uses greywater

Your use of countries in the General Information section is incorrect. I think I commented on this issue in your first literature review.

I think you could combine General Information with California Greywater Defined. I am not sure what general information you are providing in the first section. I think you want to define greywater ASAP. You could refer to other definitions within and outside of Appropedia. You know that your table is missing at this time.

Ah! I see that CA health code uses gray instead of grey…. So, I would be upfront that either spelling is used... as is done in another Appropedia page.

“The most commonly approved greywater systems are for irrigation purposes with heavy support for drip systems. However, greywater can also be used indoor if needs require.” I would take this sentence out of the paragraph defining greywater. Instead, I would use this sentence in a paragraph that described how people in CA typically use greywater.

Title 24, Part 5, Chapter 16A "Nonpotable Water Reuse Systems" (Parts I and II) should be listed as a reference and then you can cite it it in your Plumbing Code Section. (You might want to point out that it is the CA Plumbing Code) I would discuss first what the code is… before talking about the history in this section.

Provide instead of grovide….

The second paragraph of the plumbing code section (which needs an updated header) has the most important information. I would move this information to the beginning of the section. I do not know if the detailed history presented in the first paragraph is really needed. You could reduce this info and present it later in this section. The second paragraph probably has 2 to 3 paragraphs worth of info.

There are the objectives of the code… and then – the really important information – what does the code say someone needs to know/do? I would make it really clear WHAT someone needs to do first… then add the information on of objectives of the code and history…. I imagine that a reader will look at your page as a reference for what they need to do first…. And will want context and history second. In designing your page, how do you make it easy as possible to find the information that a user wants? Revisit your heading and subheading titles with the user in mind.

Under Design Criteria be sure to check for parallel construction for your lists. If you need help, just ask. I think your lists are fairly cryptic and require more explanation.

I think you want to list Greywater systems are separated into three categories: before you provide the detailed list of the requirements. Under construction permits you need to use more English and fewer lists. For example. “Construction permits are required for …. the items on this list should be explained in more detail.

You may want to change the title of your page… as you are not suggesting how to design greywater…. You are suggesting how to design a constructed wetland for treating greywater. It is hard to change a title… you could ask Lonny to help you if it makes sense to change the title. Perhaps “California Regulations for Greywater Treatment System Design and an Associated Design Calculator”

Under Wetland Design, you might consider linking to existing Appropedia pages, rather than write everything here if you can find the appropriate page. This page seems related… http://www.appropedia.org/Subsurface_flow_constructed_wetland_for_greywater You could talk to Lonny about linking to that page and you filling in the information on that page…. If appropriate. I see you have worked on that page already. Perhaps your calculator should be linked to both pages?

The following information under Greywater Design is really a definition of greywater and should be in the definition section of your page “Greywater is wastewater generated from showers, baths, sinks and cloths washing machines. Greywater may not come in contact with fecal material due to contamination from pathogens. Because greywater it will contain soaps, cleaning products, food particles and dyes, which may have nitrates, phosphates, bacteria, bleaches, solids (organic and not), and foam causing elements. Using water that contains these things may cause degradation to the surrounding environment, by changing the pH, overloading nutrients, and increases oxygen demand [3] Greywater may contain, high levels of nutrients, and having a wetland treatment system can reduce contaminates through biological treatment and generate a healthier and more productive ecosystem.” (notice that I moved the first sentence to the end.)

Here are some final comments[edit]

I reviewed what I thought you would write about, and you did not actually say much about the history of greywater in CA. I think this would be an interesting section. You focused on the history of the health and plumbing code… You could put this info in context for the history of use in CA.

You could see if it makes sense to put more of the design information on the other page Lonny is working on…. And then link the two pages – the other design page and then your policy page. I think it makes sense to explain how the calculator works on an Appropedia page, or better yet, you should have a tab in the Excel workbook that explains the calculations.

Your writing still needs editing. You have done a good job changing the tone from the one you used in your literature review. As well as you can, try to remember what the reader would want and to put new info at the end of sentences.

Please let me know if you have questions.