/ Corporate / USGBC Colorado Statement in Support of the Indoor Use of Graywater

USGBC Colorado Statement in Support of the Indoor Use of Graywater

Matt Ball on August 12, 2015 - in Corporate, Wastewater

DENVER, Aug. 12, 2015—As Colorado’s State Plumbing Board considers adopting new or additional plumbing code to accommodate the use of graywater in Colorado, the Colorado Chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council wishes to reaffirm its support for the full execution of House Bill 1044 regarding the legalization of graywater in the State of Colorado and asks industry leaders to consider the same support when adopting plumbing measures. Currently, the State Plumbing Board is proposing to allow use of graywater only for outdoor irrigation. Toilet flushing using graywater would not be allowed under the current version. In advance of the State Plumbing Board’s next meeting on Tuesday, August 25, USGBC Colorado Executive Director Patti Mason released this statement:

“Graywater eases the burden on sewers and septic systems, reduces demand on water from aquifers, and lowers energy and chemicals required to treat wastewater. In Colorado alone, graywater has the potential to replace 85,000 acre feet of water each year. USGBC Colorado supports graywater reuse as it is viewed as a critical means of addressing water needs in the future.

This support includes both indoor and outdoor applications as defined by House Bill 1044 and Regulation 86 which allow for graywater use for irrigation and flush fixtures. Part of USGBC Colorado’s support for indoor use stems from research provided by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency which encourages the use of graywater for flush fixtures, toilets in particular, because toilets have low water quality requirements which therefore use less energy to achieve than using potable water.

Colorado, which should be leading the pack, is trailing other states in indoor graywater usage. For example:

  • Oregon’s plumbing code allows the use of graywater to satisfy toilet and urinal flushing needs.
  • Texas allows for graywater to be used for process water, toilet flushing, and dust control in addition to irrigation. The state also allows for additional uses not defined in the regulation as long as the applications meet certain criteria.
  • New York’s state-adopted plumbing code allows for treated graywater to be used for toilet and urinal flushing.
  • New Mexico allows for graywater use beyond irrigation or composting when an applicant obtains a permit.

We recognize that solely using graywater for irrigation is par for the course for a majority of states but strongly encourage the State Plumbing Board to consider adopting measures that would allow for the safe usage of graywater for flush fixtures. This will allow Colorado help protect against future water constraints and once again be a leader in water conservation.”

Industry representatives interested in making their voice heard regarding Colorado’s graywater code are encouraged to submit written comments to the State Plumbing Board by Friday, Aug. 21. Comments can be submitted to:

Mr. Mark Browne, Program Director

Division of Professions and Occupations

Department of Regulatory Agencies

1560 Broadway

Suite 1350

Denver, Colorado 80202

Mark.browne@state.co.us

 

Mr. Kye Lehr, Chief Inspector

Electrical & Plumbing Program

Division of Professions and Occupations

Department of Regulatory Agencies

1560 Broadway

Suite 1350

Denver, Colorado 80202

Kye.lehr@state.co.us

Join the conversation with #COWastesWater.

About USGBC Colorado

The U.S. Green Building Council Colorado Chapter is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that was established in the state of Colorado in 2003. USGBC Colorado was the 15th chapter to be recognized by U.S. Green Building Council and is part of a nationwide network of local chapters that all contribute to the mission of transforming the way buildings and communities are designed, built and operated, enabling an environmentally and socially responsible, healthy, and prosperous environment that improves the quality of life. Our goal is to achieve our mission through education, improving industry guidelines, policy, advocacy, and information and resourcing sharing. Visit us online, and connect with us onLinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.

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