CONCERNING THE AUTHORIZATION OF THE USE OF GRAYWATER
05/01/2013 House Considered Senate Amendments – Result was to Concur – Repass
Current law is unclear regarding whether, and under what conditions, graywater may be used. Section 1 of the bill declares the importance of water conservation to the economy of Colorado and the well-being of its citizens. Section 2 defines “graywater” as that portion of wastewater that, before being treated or combined with other wastewater, is collected from fixtures within residential, commercial, or industrial buildings or institutional facilities for the purpose of being put to beneficial uses authorized by the water quality control commission (commission) in the department of public health and environment. Sources of graywater may include discharges from bathroom and laundry room sinks, bathtubs, showers, and laundry machines, as well as water from other sources authorized by rules promulgated by the commission. Graywater does not include wastewater from toilets, urinals, kitchen sinks, nonlaundry utility sinks, and dishwashers. Graywater must be collected in a manner that minimizes household wastes, human excreta, animal or vegetable matter, and chemicals that are hazardous or toxic, as determined by the commission. Section 2 also defines “graywater treatment works”. Section 3 authorizes the commission to establish minimum statewide requirements, standards, and prohibitions. Graywater may only be used:
- In accordance with the terms and conditions of applicable decrees or well permits for source water rights or source water and any return flows therefrom;
- In accordance with all federal, state, and local requirements; and
- If a local government adopts a resolution or ordinance authorizing its use. Sections 4 and 5 give counties and municipalities the discretion to authorize graywater use and the exclusive authority to enforce compliance with their graywater use resolutions and ordinances. Section 6 authorizes the board of any groundwater management district to adopt rules restricting the use of graywater treatment works. Section 6 also permits a person using a small capacity well within a designated basin to use graywater, subject to the limitations on use contained in the well permit. Sections 7, 8, and 10 authorize a person withdrawing water from a well to use graywater, subject to the limitations on use contained in the well permit or, if applicable, in an approved replacement plan or a decreed plan of augmentation. Section 9 concerns graywater use by water users served by a municipality’s or water district’s water supplies. The graywater must be used for purposes that are permissible under the municipality’s or water district’s water rights. Such use of graywater is not reuse and is deemed not to cause injury.