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San Francisco: Recycled Water Ordinance

San Francisco's Recycled Water Ordinance: Alternate Water Sources for Non-Potable Applications

San Francisco's Recycled Water Ordinance requires that private property owners of any building above a specified size threshold, as detailed below, and within designated “water recycling areas” install onsite recycled water systems in new construction, modification, or remodel projects. The goal of the ordinance is to maximize the use of recycled water, and includes a financial penalty for non-compliance.

Designated water recycling areas are shown in the below map of the City.

The recycled water requirements apply to:

  • New, remodeled or converted buildings and all subdivisions with a total cumulative area of 40,000 square feet or more
  • New and existing irrigated areas of 10,000 square feet or more

In addition, property owners subject to the Recycled Water Ordinance are required to use recycled water for all applicable State of California approved uses including:

  • Landscape Irrigation
  • Toilet and Urinal Flushing
  • Cooling or Air Conditioning Involving a Cooling Tower
  • Decorative Fountains
  • Industrial Process Water
  • Industrial Boiler Feed
  • Commercial Laundries
  • Commercial Car Washing
  • Soil Compaction and Dust Control

Read San Francisco Public Utilities Commission's Fact Sheet on the Recycled Water Ordinance by clicking the link below. You can find Section 12C of the City’s Health Code where the Recycled Water Ordinance is codified here.

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