2012 Colorado legislation: Are approved gray water systems on the horizon?


They will be if CSU assistant professor, Sybil Sharvelle and CSU professor, Larry Roesner, can convince enough legislators that public health is not a concern along with the folly of not reusing outflows from dish washing, clothes washing, showers and other activiites that generate gray water in the home. Here’s a report from Joe Hanel writing for The Durango Herald. From the article:

Sharvelle and professor Larry Roesner want the Legislature to pass a law that gives state water regulators the power to write new rules for reusing water from showers, sinks and washing machines.

They have run tests for several years on household systems that collect used water in tanks about the size of a hot-water heater and redirect the water into toilets or gardens.

Legislators on the Water Resources Review Committee voted 9-0 Wednesday to start writing a bill to be introduced in 2012, although some lawmakers had qualms about it.

“I’m a little gun shy, but I guess it doesn’t hurt for us to draft a bill and take a look,” said Rep. Jerry Sonnenberg, R-Sterling.

Sonnenberg’s hesitation stems from one of the unresolved questions about gray water. His largely agricultural district lies downhill from Denver, and if many people in the metro area start reusing their water instead of literally flushing it down the drain, it could lead to less water in the rivers downstream.

More gray water coverage here.

5 thoughts on “2012 Colorado legislation: Are approved gray water systems on the horizon?

  1. Finally a law that will place the foundations for a new ecological vision of water. The water is a precious commodity, the more valuable and a system that allows for its reuse for toilets, gardens and other things, in my opinion, should have been done already for a long time. I hope that this law is made ​​operational as soon as possible.


  2. Colorado is way behind the times on this issue. It has been proven scientifically that rain water harvesting and grey water reclamation makes environmental and ecological sense. Any delay on making these two water conserving methodologies legal will prove detrimental to the state and its residents.

    1. Bill,

      Thanks for commenting.

      The delays are primarily due to Colorado water law for rainwater harvesting. Health concerns dominate the debate about gray water systems.

      John Orr

      1. Simple gray water reclamation where you reuse your shower/tub drain water to flush your toilets should NOT even be regulated. After all why would any sane community want to use precious drinking water to flush their toilets? Fundamental systems like this are legal in most states already and I would challenge any man to theorize where the “health risks” would be. Yet this could conserve up to 1/3 of a communities precious water. The fact that everyone would save upwards of 30% of their water bill might be motivation enough for home owners to take this very logical step. It is only when you consider using gray water to water lawns and gardens that any health concerns might arise. These concerns can be addressed and overcome, but for the sake of brevity lets just get fundamental gray water reclamation for toilet flushing legal. One step at a time…..

  3. To tell you the truth I am not a big environmentalist but do have a big family….even with both my Husband and I working the funds run short and I think reusing the gray water for our lawn and Garden would be a great way to save money!!!

Leave a Reply