diagram of laundry to landscape processThe City of Golden launches a Laundry-to-Landscape (L2L) program, enabling residents to boost local water conservation and reuse. Golden City Council approved the L2L graywater ordinance at its meeting on Sept. 10 – only the fourth of its kind in the state and the first to focus exclusively on L2L systems.

Single-family residences that choose to participate in the program will now have the ability to recycle water from laundry machines to irrigate non-edible outdoor plants. This will replace some of the potable water currently used for irrigation. The L2L systems are relatively inexpensive and easy to install and they do not require water pumps or filters. “We are excited to offer graywater reuse as another strategy in our community water conservation programs,” said Golden Sustainability Coordinator Theresa Worsham. “We’re making it easier for Golden residents to choose waterwise programs that fit their needs, whether it’s discounts for xeric plants, free irrigation audits, or now the ability to use laundry water for outdoor irrigation.”

The City of Golden worked with WaterNow Alliance (WaterNow) and Western Resource Advocates (WRA) to design a locally tailored graywater program to meet the City’s needs. Golden received pro-bono support from WaterNow and WRA to provide technical assistance in research and development of a potential program, and all three collaborated over the last year to assess current efforts in Colorado and identify best practices to include in Golden’s ordinance. “As communities across Colorado grapple with drought, it’s encouraging to see the City of Golden take this important step to permit the use of L2L systems and to educate their residents about on-site water reuse,” said Lindsay Rogers with WaterNow Alliance.

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment in 2015 developed and implemented Regulation 86: Graywater Control Regulation, allowing local jurisdictions to create their own graywater programs and paving the way for Golden’s ordinance. Within that regulation, an L2L ordinance is one of the simplest, most affordable graywater systems a community can pursue; it needs little maintenance, and all parts can be purchased for roughly $200-$250 from a home center.

Homeowners interested in installing their own L2L graywater system can apply for support through Golden’s pilot graywater program. City of Golden staff will evaluate the effectiveness of the L2L program and consider expanding to multi-family and commercial buildings in the future. Visit www.cityofgolden.net/graywater for all city regulations,d guides, and application materials. Questions? Contact Theresa Worsham, Golden Sustainability Coordinator, at TWorsham@cityofgolden.net.

Learn more about Western Resource Advocates at www.westernresrouceadvocates.org and WaterNow Alliance at www.waternow.org.