On February 2, 2022, the Water Quality Control Commission (WQCC) held an informational hearing to obtain feedback regarding a proposed rulemaking scope to update Regulation 86: Graywater Control Regulation.
The WQCC agreed that the proposed rulemaking scope would include the following items:
- Align formatting and organization with other codes and reuse regulations to the greatest extent possible.
- Improve organization, clarity, and readability of Regulation 86.
- Clarify the “graywater control program” requirements.
- Address how local graywater programs will address changes in regulatory requirements (updates to the regulation; updates to treatment and existing systems).
- Consider the adoption of Log Removal Targets (LRTs).
- Address special considerations for local graywater control programs within phosphorus control basins.
- Consider whether to add to the scope of and the process for regulatory variances.
- Review the subsurface use framework.
- Evaluate additional graywater uses.
- Encourage small-scale graywater use by clarifying “laundry to landscape” requirements.
The division is leading a stakeholder group through these items to develop a recommendation to the WQCC in August 2023.
What is graywater?
Graywater is a part of the water used in a residential, commercial, or industrial building that may be collected after the first use and put to a second beneficial use. Regulation 86 outlines requirements, prohibitions, and standards for graywater use for non-drinking purposes. Graywater sources may include water discharged from:
- Bathroom and laundry-room sinks.
- Laundry machines.
Graywater may not include water discharged from:
- Kitchen sinks.
- Non-laundry utility sinks.
Regulation 86 is only one component of a larger legal framework that all must be in place for graywater to be used legally in Colorado. In addition to Regulation 86, the Colorado Plumbing Board will also need to adopt a Colorado Plumbing Code version that allows for graywater piping within structures. There is no estimated date or assurance that the Colorado Plumbing Board will take action to allow graywater plumbing. Any graywater use also will need to be in conformance with Colorado water rights, which is regulated by the Department of Natural Resources, Division of Water Resource.
The statute made graywater an "opt-in" program for local jurisdictions and not a statewide program. To allow graywater use, a city, city and county, or county will have to adopt an ordinance or resolution to allow graywater use within its jurisdiction by developing a graywater control program that meets the requirements of Regulation 86. Please contact your local city or county to see if a local graywater program is in place.
How to get involved
The division presented an update on the stakeholder engagement schedule with the Water Quality Control Division in February 2022 as part of the triennial review process. The division is working with stakeholders to develop a proposal for the WQCC in August 2023.
To stay informed and receive updates specific to this effort, sign-up for email notifications.
The division has scheduled routine stakeholder meetings on the third Monday of each month until the hearing. To view the meeting recording, chat, and meeting materials, please visit the public meeting file.
For more information about graywater, please see the graywater information sheet.