Rules and Regs: Washington Looking at New Nonpotable Rules

Also in this month’s update, the state of Kansas considers creating a new water agency to improve conservation

Rules and Regs: Washington Looking at New Nonpotable Rules

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The state of Washington is nearing adoption of new risk-based rules governing nonpotable onsite water systems. The rules would apply to multifamily, commercial, and mixed-use buildings and would govern the treatment and use of water for nonpotable applications, according to the state Health Department. Included would be collection of water from sources such as showers, sinks, toilets, dishwashers, air conditioners and rain.

Among topics to be covered by the rule are treatment, quality monitoring requirements, reporting requirements, permitting, and waivers for upgrading existing systems.

Rulemaking began in August and included two public meetings, says the state website. Once the rule is drafted, there will be a public comment period.

The department has a deadline of July 1 to adopt the new rules.

For more information, or to register for email updates, visit:

State of Kansas creating new water agency

With most of the state in moderate to extreme drought, the Kansas Legislature is considering creation of a new cabinet-level water agency that would combine offices from existing state departments. The goal is to better organize and direct work on conservation, water quality and policy planning, reported the Topeka Capital-Journal.

Part of the Legislature’s work would include a dedicated funding source for conservation. The proposal is a bipartisan project and has support from Gov. Laura Kelly. Agricultural groups are worried about the effect of fees on farmers and ranchers, and they argue lawmakers should ask for solutions from people living on the land.

Research shows the Ogallala Aquifer, which covers parts of eight states in the Great Plains, could run dry in some Kansas counties in the next decade.

“Water is so important to our state. We do not want to be in the same situation that Nevada and California are in,” said Rep. Ron Highland, R-Wamego, chair of the House Water Committee, according to the Capital-Journal.

IWSH launches program in Alabama to assist with onsite system upgrades

The International Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Foundation is launching a program in Alabama to help people needing onsite system upgrades. A pilot project, scheduled for mid-March, is expected to provide repairs and upgrades for five homes in Lowndes County, reported the Daily Commercial News in Markham, Ontario.

Lowndes County is one of about 17 counties in the Black Belt region, named for rich black clay soils that retard infiltration.

Partners in the project are the Black Belt Unincorporated Wastewater Program, Alabama Department of Public Health, and water technology company LIXIL. Equipment donations came from LIXIL and Fuji Clean USA.

Louisiana community refines wastewater rules

Concordia Parish, Louisiana, updated its ordinances to fine people who dump untreated wastewater into ditches, lakes and bayous from their homes. Violators may be fined up to $100 per day per instance, reported the Concordia Sentinel.

“The reason we did this was, we were seeing a lot of raw sewage in our ditches and water systems,” said Police Jury President Collin Edwards. “It is the same ordinance as the state code.”

Police jury is the name for the elected governing body of a parish.

The previous ordinance covered only subdivisions and multifamily dwellings. The updated ordinance also covers the placement and size of septic tanks.

Grants help fund onsite system replacement in Nassau County

The Nassau County Legislature passed a supplemental appropriation of $2 million in February to help fund onsite system replacement grants. That sum was matched with another $2 million from the American Rescue Plan, reported

Homeowners or small businesses may apply for grants to replace their failing cesspools or onsite systems with modern nitrogen-reducing technology. Grants will provide 50% of the cost of a system replacement up to a maximum of $20,000. Eligible properties must have a design flow of no more than 1,000 gpd.

Nassau County is next to New York City on Long Island and like neighboring Suffolk County has thousands of properties served by cesspools. Nitrogen pollution of nearshore waters by onsite systems has become an issue on the island in the past few years.

Vermont state agency provides grants for onsite system repair or replacement

The Vermont state Agency of Natural Resources is using $1 million from the American Rescue Plan to help low- and moderate-income state residents repair or replace failing onsite systems.

Eligible homeowners are encouraged to apply by April 15 for the first round of funding. Applications made after that may be funded as money is available. Additional money is expected in future fiscal years, according to the state.

Grants are available to people who own and live at a single-family property, or to owner-occupied multifamily homes with up to four units. Households with incomes up to $120,000 may receive grants.


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