Graywater

Colorado is one of the only states in the West that doesn’t allow the domestic use of graywater, but that may soon change. Rep. Randy Fischer (D-Fort Collins) has reintroduced a graywater bill allowing homeowners and businesses to reuse dish-washing, shower, and other graywater. Current Colorado water law allows just one use of water before it goes down the drain, through a wastewater treatment plant, and back into the river for others to use. Lawmakers defeated a similar bill in a 5-4 vote last year, but Fischer thinks it stands a better chance of drawing bipartisan support this year. It is estimated that Colorado could save enough water for 170,000 new suburban families if all new construction included systems to recycle bath and laundry water. Colorado State University Prof. Larry Roesner has been pushing Colorado to expand its graywater use for 10 years. He said graywater makes up 30 percent of household water use. If new homes and businesses all used graywater systems, the state could save 85,000 acre-feet a year, he said.