Staff Report

In response to the current historic drought, the Santa Barbara County Water Agency has produced a handbook that highlights the importance that graywater systems can play in conserving and using water more efficiently while supporting healthy landscapes, healthy soil, a more sustainable water supply, climate safety and community resiliency, officials said.

Graywater is household and business wastewater that isn’t sewage.

“The Water Agency has been pursuing additional opportunities for outreach and education on ways to conserve water. We hope county residents use information in the Greywater Handbook to not only conserve water, but to also make their landscapes healthier,” Public Works Deputy Director Tom Fayram said.

The 62-page handbook includes a list of components that make up a graywater system and how to make the most of such a system, including safety and design basics.

It also provides a list of reasons to use graywater, a discussion of graywater history, and answers to common questions. An appendix has reference information on state and county graywater system exemption standards, among other information.

Residents can find the handbook on the county’s regional water efficiency program website,, where it is available to download free of charge. The handbook is also available as a color-printed version upon request and at various Water Agency Conservation Team public events.