The session law provides interim standards for use of gray water for hand-watering inedible plants that will sunset when rules adopted by the Commission for Health Services go into effect.
This is quite a strange law. As part of an emergency bill, untreated graywater reuse is allowed but only using buckets/watering cans or other handheld containers.
It would appear the State only wants to conserve water when the state has already achieved a drought crisis.
SECTION 14.(a) For purposes of this section, “gray water” means wastewater removed from household washbasins, bathtubs, and showers.
SECTION 14.(b) The Commission for Health Services shall adopt rules to authorize the use of gray water during periods of drought to hand water trees, shrubs, and inedible plants on single-family residential property. The rules shall encourage the use of gray water as provided in this section while protecting public health, safety, welfare, and the environment. In developing the rules, the Commission shall review the provisions set out in subsection (c) of this section.
SECTION 14.(c) Notwithstanding G.S. 130A-335(a), untreated gray water may be used in periods of drought to hand water trees, shrubs, and inedible plants on a single-family residential property under the following conditions:
- Gray water shall be applied as soon as practicable. Untreated gray water should not be stored for later use.
- Gray water containing hazardous chemicals including, but not limited to, residue from solvents shall not be used.
- Use of untreated gray water is restricted to the residential property where the gray water originates. Untreated gray water shall not be allowed to run off onto adjoining property, roadways, or into drainage features such as ditches and storm drains.
- Untreated gray water shall be applied using buckets, watering cans, or other handheld containers. Gray water may not be used in an irrigation system unless the gray water has been treated in accordance with standards set out in the State Plumbing Code.
- Gray water shall not be applied closer than 100 feet to surface waters or water supply well.