Oregon Approves Gray Water Use
While a water-rich state, Oregon will now be allowing permits for businesses and residents to reuse gray water for those environmentally-inclined. The permits, issued by the Oregon’s Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), will allow the water draining out of showers, tubs, bathroom sinks and washing machines to be reused for irrigation purposes.
If a building uses less than 300 gallons per day, the permit would cost $90 for the first year, and could be renewed each year for $40. An alternative permit would be for buildings that use up to 1,200 gallons per day. This permit would cost $584 the first year, and then have a $50 renewal fee each year. The owner of a building using more than 1,200 gallons will have to apply for an individual permit, have it reviewed by DEQ, and hold a 30-day public comment period. The cost for this individual permit will vary by the size and complexity of the reuse system.
These new permits will allow consumers to reduce their water consumption and keep money in their pockets. Since home water use tends to split evenly between inside and outside use, consumers can now take the water they use inside, and reuse it for outside uses such as watering a garden or washing a car. This reuse will also help manage stormwater runoff in large cities like Portland.