HB 307 – AS INTRODUCED
HOUSE BILL 307
This bill allows the construction of gray water systems on private property. The bill also provides for regulation by the department of environmental services.
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Explanation: Matter added to current law appears in bold italics.
Matter removed from current law appears [
in brackets and struckthrough.]
Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.
STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE
In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Nine
AN ACT allowing the construction of gray water systems on private property.
Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:
1 New Paragraph; Gray Water; Definition. Amend RSA 485-A:2 by inserting after paragraph IV the following new paragraph:
IV-a. “Gray water” means wastewater that originates from residential clothes washers, bathtubs, showers, and sinks, but shall not include wastewater from toilets.
485-A:58 Permit Required; Gray Water Systems.
I. The construction, installation, and operation of any residential system designed to collect or distribute gray water, as defined by RSA 485-A:2, IV-a, for purposes of composting shall be prohibited unless the resident possesses a permit for a residential gray water system issued by the commissioner.
II. A permit applicant shall demonstrate to the commissioner that the proposed residential gray water system meets the following criteria:
(a) The system contains a flow of less than 400 gallons per day;
(b) Human contact with gray water and soil irrigated by gray water shall be avoided;
(c) Gray water originating from the residence shall be used and contained within the property boundary for composting, including the use of composting toilets;
(d) The gray water shall not contain hazardous chemicals derived from activities such as cleaning car parts, washing greasy or oily rags, or disposing of waste solutions from home photo labs or similar hobbyist or home occupational activities;
(e) The application of gray water shall be managed to minimize standing water on the surface, for example, by splitting the flow, moderate application rates, and generous mulching;
(f) The gray water system shall be constructed so that if blockage, plugging, or backup of the system occurs, gray water can be directed into the sewage collection system or onsite wastewater treatment and disposal system, as applicable. The gray water system may include a means of filtration to reduce plugging and extend system lifetime;
(g) Any gray water storage tank shall be covered to restrict access and to eliminate habitat for mosquitoes or other disease vectors. Untreated gray water shall be stored no more than 24 hours;
(h) The gray water system shall be sited outside of a floodway;
(i) The gray water system shall be operated to maintain a minimum vertical separation distance of at least 5 feet from the point of gray water application to the top of the seasonally high groundwater table (excepting that gray water systems are allowed where they would be relieving loading on a septic system in a high groundwater area).
(j) The gray water system shall be designed with two valved zones, each of which can accommodate the full, expected gray water volume. Providing the gray water system passes a flow test in each zone, the capacity of the on-site system may be reduced, or in the instance that an approved composting toilet system is present, eliminated;
(k) Any pressure piping used in a gray water system that may be susceptible to cross connection with a potable water system shall clearly indicate that the piping does not carry potable water;
(l) Gray water applied by surface irrigation shall not contain water used to wash diapers or similarly soiled or infectious garments unless the gray water is disinfected before irrigation; and
(m) Surface irrigation by gray water shall be only by flood or drip irrigation. Spray irrigation shall not be allowed. Containment within horticultural basins or swales shall be encouraged for flood irrigation;
III. Kitchen sink water shall be applied subsoil in chambers of sufficient volume, or contained within a rat-proof outlet shield;
IV. Gray water diverter valves shall be downstream from traps and vents in plumbing that lead to septic or sewer.
485-A:59 Administrative Requirements.
I. Applications for permits shall be upon such forms, and shall include such information, as the commissioner requires under rules adopted pursuant to RSA 541-A.
II. The commissioner shall act upon a permit application within a reasonable period of time.
III. As a condition of any permit required, the commissioner may require payment of a fee to cover the reasonable costs of reviewing and acting upon the application for a permit and of implementing or enforcing the terms and conditions of a permit. The commissioner shall adopt rules relative to a fee schedule for applicants and the collection of fees under the schedule.
V. As a condition of any permit to construct, install, and operate under RSA 484-A:58 the commissioner may require payment of a fee to cover the reasonable costs of reviewing and acting upon the application for a permit to construct, install, and operate, permit renewal, and permit modification of a residential gray water system, and of implementing or enforcing the terms and conditions of a residential gray water system permit. The commissioner shall adopt rules relative to a fee schedule for applicants and the collection of fees under the schedule.
485-A:60 Enforcement; Penalties.
I. No person shall construct, install or operate a residential gray water system unless that person has received an approved permit from the commissioner under RSA 455-A:58.
II. The commissioner of the department of environmental services may adopt rules pursuant to RSA 541-A relative to the construction, installation and operation of residential gray water systems.
III. Any person who violates the provisions of this section or any rules adopted pursuant to this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor if a natural person or guilty of a felony if any other person.
3 Effective Date. This act shall take effect July 1, 2009.