As a result of 2013 legislation, the Water Quality Control Commission adopted Regulation 86: Graywater Control Regulation on November 9, 2015.
On May 7, 2018, the Commission held an informational hearing to gather feedback for a proposed rulemaking scope to update the Graywater Control Regulation. The division initiated the stakeholder engagement process but placed the effort on hold due to competing obligations, limited resources, and the COVID-19 pandemic.
The division presented an update on the stakeholder engagement schedule with the Commission in May 2021 as part of the triennial review process. As a result of this meeting, the Commission supported the delay of the stakeholder engagement process until 2022.
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 May 2021 as part of the triennial review process. The division has placed the stakeholder process on hold until 2022.
To stay informed and receive updates specific to this effort, sign-up for email notifications.
The division held a stakeholder meeting on Tuesday, April 13, 2021. 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.