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Apply for Rainwater Catchment System Permits

Installation of a rainwater catchment system requires permits under certain conditions.

Before you Start

Please review the Permit Requirements below as these vary from project to project.

Ready to get started? First, make sure you are registered and activated at our Online Permit Center. For instructions, please visit our Planning & Building Video Tutorials webpage.

What to Do

Permit Requirements

How to Apply

  1. Step One: Apply for Design Review Exemption (As Needed)
    • Submit a Zoning Worksheet (ZW) through our Online Permit Center*
      *NOTE: You must login before you can submit a ZW
    • In the Worksheet, upload your completed Basic Application for Development Review (select "Design Review Exemption" under "Development Permits")
      If your project requires a Building Permit, upload a completed Building Permit Application to your ZW. Please include a description of any Mechanical, Electrical or Plumbing (MEP) work to be performed
    • A planner will review your submission. Please note, your project may require additional documents and entitlements upon planner review.
    • Once approved, your application will be routed to the Building Permit Counter or you will receive a decision letter from the Bureau of Planning if applicable.
  2. Step Two: Apply for Building/Electrical/Plumbing Permit (As Needed)

    If your system is 5,000+ gallons or height-to-width exceeds 2:1:

    • Apply for Building Permits:
      • if your project does not require Zoning Review:
        Submit a Building Worksheet (BW) through our Online Permit Center*
        * NOTE:
        You must login before you can submit a BW
        In the Worksheet, upload your engineered plans, structural calculations and any other applicable documents
      • If your project requires Zoning Review:
        Once your application is approved by a planner, Building Permit Counter Staff will contact you with instructions on how to submit all applicable Building Permit documents

    If your system includes an electrical pump:

    If your system will be used for indoor plumbing:

    Need additional guidance? Try using our Permit Wizard to help you select the right permit type for your project.

  3. Step Three: Application Review

    Once we receive your application and have created it in our system, we will review your submission. If we need further information, we will contact you. If your application is approved, we will contact you to issue your permit. For the latest processing estimates, please see our Average Permit Processing Turnaround Times webpage.

Need to Know


Call (510) 238-3891 or find quick answers through our Permit & Services Questions Portal. You may also schedule an appointment with Permit Counter staff during open hours.


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