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San Francisco Expands Water Recycling in City Buildings

Cities are one of the last places you might expect onsite wastewater recycling, but in late September the San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted to expand the recycling required of buildings in the city.

Since 2012, buildings of at least 250,000 square feet have been required to treat some greywater (showers and bathroom sinks) and reuse it to flush toilets and irrigate plants. The new rule lowers the recycling threshold to 100,000 square feet. Large commercial developments will also have to expand influent to include wastewater from kitchen sinks and toilets. Residential complexes will have to collect condensate from heating and cooling systems and use that in laundry rooms. Affordable housing is exempt from this rule.


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