In April 2013, Gov. Hickenlooper signed into law a bill that allows Coloradoans to use graywater.
Graywater refers to the portion of wastewater that is collected from fixtures within residential, commercial or industrial buildings before being treated or combined with other wastewater. It can include water discharge from bathroom sinks, bathtubs, showers, laundry machines, and other authorized sources.
Graywater does not include the soapy debris-filled wastewater from toilets, urinals, kitchen sinks, dishwashers, or nonlaundry utility sinks.
With the new law in place, buildings now can be outfitted to collect graywater, store it in a holding tank, then use it to fill toilets or irrigate outdoor systems. Outdoor irrigation will have to use a drip system to prevent the wastewater from aerosolizing, making the wastewater safe for the general public.
Graywater is not safe to drink, but is perfectly acceptable for use in both toilets and irrigation systems. And graywater could also reduce costs of treating water because it goes directly from laundry or sink into a holding tank, as opposed to completing the entire recycle, retreatment process before entering your location once again.
It would also be a cost savings during drought conditions, as graywater can account for as much as 30 percent of our water consumption. Without the need for recycling and retreatment, an individual residential or commercial location could immediately begin watching what they use and consciously make the decision to reutilize its water for other uses.
The new law empowers any city or county to pass a resolution that will allow the use of graywater for regulated uses. Which means if you are thinking of using graywater within your own community, you’ll have to first check with your local city and county to find out what regulations are in place.
If you have any further questions, we’d be happy to help you decide what the best systems are for your current location and situation.