At a Glance

A LEED Platinum low-income rental community in an arid region demonstrates sustainable water management by treating and recycling its greywater on site.

Project Description

When the Buenaventura, California Housing Authority was developing Rancho Verde, a multi-family, rental low-income housing community for agricultural workers, they sought a sustainable and precedent-setting solution for water management. The site was originally left in trust to the University of California for use related to regional sustainability and agriculture.

Working with an integrated design team, Biohabitats developed a system that collects and treats greywater from the community’s laundry facilities and recycles it for use in landscape irrigation. The design criteria required the system to be simple to construct, operate, and maintain. The system, which includes a self-cleaning cascade pre-filter, pump basin, recirculating sand filter, and tertiary filtration, reuses treated water for landscape irrigation, offsetting a minimum of 50% of the demand. It is capable of recycling approximately 600 gallons of water per day into a consistent, sustainable supply.

In addition to making a positive impact on local water use and educating tenants and owners, the system also allowed the developer to obtain sizable USDA Rural Farmworker Housing Grant program and achieve LEED Platinum certification.



Southwest Basin & Range

Physiographic Province

Transverse Ranges


Santa Clara River

Expertise Areas

Climate Change, Community, Infrastructure, Water


Housing Authority of the City of San Buenaventura


Ventura, California, United States

Project Team
  • Mainstreet Architects + Planners
  • BRIDGE Housing
  • Green Dinosaur
  • Brodersen Associates
  • Consulting West Engineers
  • Southland Civil Engineering & Survey LLP