On 10/21/15, DBL guest presenter Robert Stefani (Robert.Stefani@austintexas.gov) of Austin Water, reviewed the latest in municipal Auxiliary Water regulations. The City adopted the 2012 Uniform Plumbing Code with local amendments, resulting in much more friendly regulations regarding rainwater and graywater. In the City of Austin, “auxiliary water” is water from a source other than the City’s potable water supply and includes: Rainwater, Graywater, A/C condensate and Reclaimed/Recycled water.
Graywater (from laundry, hand sinks, bath, shower; NOT from toilets and kitchen sink), accounts for approximately 50% of residential indoor water use. The average Austinite produces about 35 gallons of greywater per day.
Rainwater is water from the sky before it hits the ground. (Once it hits the ground it is stormwater and becomes regulated by the Watershed Protection Department.) Rainwater can be used to offset all or a significant portion of residential landscape water use, which accounts for almost half of the typical home water consumption.
Some of the highlights for single family applications include:
(1) A rainwater catchment or condensate collection system for irrigating:
(a) landscaping of a single family dwelling where the system’s outlets, piping, and other components are located on the exterior of the single family dwelling, or
(b) landscaping other than that of a single family dwelling where the system’s maximum storage capacity is 500 gallons (1893 L).
(2) Gravity gray water systems having a maximum discharge capacity of 250 gallons per day (gal/d) (0.011 L/s) for a Homestead Permit (see note below) as described in section 103.1.3 of this Code for one- and two-family dwellings and townhomes.
(3) An on-site treated nonpotable water system for a single family dwelling having a maximum discharge capacity of 250 gal/d (0.011 L/s).
(4) A Laundry to Landscape graywater system.
No size exclusions
Pressurized graywater systems require an RPZ, engineering and annual inspections.
Graywater systems are currently prohibited in the Edwards Aquifer Recharge Zone (most places west of Loop 1), BUT there may be exceptions, so please talk to Robert Stefani.
*RPZ = Reduced Pressure Zone. A device to prevent backflow and contamination. Costs about $1500 and requires an annual inspection and fee.
For more information on rainwater, graywater and other auxiliary water use in the City of Austin, see Robert’s slide presentation (below) and waterwise.org
What is a “Homestead Permit” for Laundry to Landscape?
A homestead permit allows a homeowner (on an owned property receiving a homestead exemption) to pull the Auxiliary Water Permit and perform the work themselves, thus saving money. This differs from a “trade” permit in the fact that with a trade permit a third party, usually a plumber or engineer, must pull the permit and perform the work.