H.C.R. NO.



H.D. 1











urging the counties to adopt and implement gray water recycling programs for residential irrigation purposes as provided under the uniform plumbing code standards.




     WHEREAS, at 18 percent higher than the national average, Hawaii consumes the most water per capita in the nation, and the demand for water in Hawaii is not likely to decrease; and


     WHEREAS, the wastewater reuse rate is not as high as it could be—-three of the four counties reuse wastewater at a rate of less than five percent, the remaining county at the rate of less than 15 percent, and the State at a rate of less than 25 percent; and


     WHEREAS, a low wastewater reuse rate is also taxing on our wastewater treatment facilities—-it will cost $1,000,000,000 to repair an aging sewer system; and


     WHEREAS, much of the wastewater currently treated at the City and County of Honolulu's wastewater facilities is otherwise reusable gray water that can be diverted from the sewer system, which has often failed, with potentially disastrous consequences for the health, safety, and economic welfare of our residents and visitors; and


     WHEREAS, gray water can replace potable water for many uses, thereby saving money, increasing water supply and treatment effectiveness, and reducing operation and capital costs of treatment facilities; and


     WHEREAS, gray water has a history of safe use in the nation, and does not contaminate the natural surface and ground waters because it is purified to a high degree in the upper, most biologically active region of the soil; and

     WHEREAS, counties have jurisdiction over residential wastewater treatment in areas served by county sewer systems; and


     WHEREAS, under section 342D-70, Hawaii Revised Statutes (HRS), counties, with the approval of the Department of Health, may implement a gray water recycling program within their jurisdictions in which gray water, defined as any water from the domestic plumbing system of a residence, except toilets, is used to irrigate lawns and gardens; and


     WHEREAS, the counties have not implemented gray water recycling programs under section 342D-70, HRS, and, in adopting national plumbing standards, have deleted gray water reuse provisions; and


     WHEREAS, numerous other states facing water shortages have adopted gray water reuse standards that have reduced potable water use; now, therefore,


     BE IT RESOLVED by the House of Representatives of the Twenty-fourth Legislature of the State of Hawaii, Regular Session of 2008, the Senate concurring, that the counties are urged to implement a gray water recycling program that adopts the gray water standards for residential subsurface landscape irrigation as provided in the Uniform Plumbing Code; and


     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED the counties are requested to adopt standards that:


(1)  Limit each residence to use of 250 gallons of gray water per day;


(2)  Ensure that overflow from a gray water system is adequately directed into a sewer system or on-site wastewater treatment and disposal system;


(3)  Require gray water storage tanks be adequately covered to eliminate breeding of mosquitoes or other vectors;


(4)  Require gray water systems to be at least five feet above the ground water table;


(5)  Require all gray water piping to be clearly identified as non-potable water;


(6)  Prevent gray water from a residence from being used outside of the residential property;


(7)  Minimize the potential for contact with people or pets;


(8)  Prevent ponding and minimize standing water;


(9)  Ensure that the hydraulic capacity of the residential property is not exceeded with the use of gray water;


(10) Ensure that gray water is not sprayed;


(11) Prohibit the discharge of gray water to a water course; and


(12) Ensure that gray water systems are not permitted in flood zone areas;




     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that certified copies of this Concurrent Resolution be transmitted to the Director of Health and the Mayor and the chairpersons of the county council of each county.



Report Title: 

Counties; gray water standards