Photo by Evangelidis
The changes to the Illinois Plumbing Code can help reduce runoff by repurposing rainwater for household and garden uses.
Whether you are trying to conserve potable (drinkable) water or manage some of the rain that falls on your property, non-potable water re-use is a valuable tool to have at your disposal. Rain, graywater, air conditioning condensate and reclaimed effluent are all good enough for non-potable uses such as flushing down a toilet, relieving stress on water supplies and infrastructure. While a few properties throughout Illinois have been able to secure time-consuming variances from the Ill. Dept. of Public Health (IDPH) to build some pilot projects, non-potable water re-use has otherwise been against the state’s rules.
Almost five years ago, the Metropolitan Planning Council and many partners began a push to modernize the Illinois Plumbing Code, largely so that property owners and water resource professionals would have another option – non-potable water re-use – in the constant struggle to sustainably manage our shared, finite water resources.
It’s been a long road, but today the Ill. Dept. of Public Health released an ambitious and forward-thinking set of proposed modernizations to the Illinois Plumbing Code, beginning a 45-day public comment period. These pragmatic changes will help develop a new market for non-potable water re-use, essentially create a new water resource and strengthen our ability to turn rain into a useful asset before it becomes damaging stormwater. MPC applauds IDPH, Ill. Rep. Carol Sente (D-Lincolnshire), and former Ill. Sen. Susan Garrett (D-Highwood) for getting us to this point.
Now it’s your turn. Review the proposed changes in the Illinois Register, and then let IDPH know they have your support by sending written comments care of:
Division of Legal Services
Illinois Dept. of Public Health
535 W. Jefferson St., 5th floor
Springfield, Illinois 62761