Ordinance will require onsite water reuse systems in new large developments and require all developments throughout the city to go through a water reuse analysis with the Public Utilities Commission. The ordinance also will set city policy that all irrigation and cleaning of public spaces should be done with non-drinking water within the next 5 years
San Francisco -- Today the San Francisco Board of Supervisors unanimously passed legislation by Supervisor Scott Wiener to require new developments to use onsite water reuse systems – like greywater and blackwater systems – for non-potable uses like toilet flushing and irrigation. This makes San Francisco the first city in the nation to require developments to install recycled water systems. The legislation also pushes city departments to use non-potable water for all cleaning and irrigation of public spaces within the next 5 years.
“Our Hetch Hetchy water is a limited and precious resource and we shouldn’t be wasting it on flushing toilets and other nonpotable uses,” said Supervisor Wiener. “Our water shortage is a serious and immediate crisis, but it’s also a long term structural problem. Even when this drought ends, we still will need to change how we use water, especially as our city grows. By approving this groundbreaking water recycling legislation today, we are demonstrating once again that San Francisco will take bold action to lead the state and country in preserving our natural resources.”
The legislation will require new large developments of 250,000 or more square feet to use onsite water reuse systems for non-potable uses such as toilet flushing and irrigation, while also requiring all developments citywide 40,000 square feet and above to go through an onsite water reuse analysis by the PUC. These systems include capturing greywater from sinks and laundries, blackwater, rainwater, and foundation water. The legislation will also make it city policy that within the next 5 years, city departments use only non-potable water for irrigation and cleaning of public spaces, like streets, parks, plazas and medians. City departments must report back within two years on the feasibility and needs required of implementing these policies, including budget costs. The legislation has been endorsed by the Sierra Club, Bay.org and the League of Conservation Voters. The Land Use and Transportation Committee unanimously endorsed the legislation last Monday.