HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

H.B. NO.

777

TWENTY-NINTH LEGISLATURE, 2017

H.D. 2

STATE OF HAWAII

 

 

 

 

 

 

A BILL FOR AN ACT

 

 

RELATING TO AGRICULTURE.

 

 

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:

 


SECTION 1. The legislature finds that supporting local food production is a high priority for Hawaii and much of that food production comes from small farmers. Land and water costs are high in Hawaii and enabling farmers to live on the land at minimal expense is essential.

On Hawaii island, most farms are not supplied with county water, so the efficient use of water is of paramount importance, as the water for the farm comes from rainfall. Water for household use is provided by collecting the rain off the roofs of the farm buildings and storing that water in tanks in the case of potable water, or ponds for irrigation and stock water. Allowing farmers to use gray water systems that recycle uncontaminated water will enable them to waste less water.

According to the "Guidelines for the Reuse of Gray Water" prepared by the department of health, "gray water from sinks, tub/shower drains, and clothes washers are estimated to be 50-80 percent of the total residential wastewater generated. This wastewater stream may be reused to meet part of the fresh water demand for landscaping . . . Although this wastewater stream contains detergents, soaps, and solvents, some of the constituents of these cleaning agents are considered fertilizer for plants. Phosphorous, nitrogen, and potassium are some of the compounds found in gray water that many plants need to survive. Generally, most of the gray water and the nutrients in it will be used by plants, and the dynamics of the soil will break down the other contaminants." This guide continues by listing several ornamental plants such as heliconia and ti, crop plants such as banana and coconut, and native Hawaiian plants that would benefit from the use of gray water.

Therefore, the legislature finds that allowing gray water systems on agricultural land on Hawaii island will provide farmers with an inexpensive and efficient source of water and nutrients.

SECTION 2. Section 342D-70, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:

"342D-70 Use of gray water for irrigation purposes. (a) The department may authorize any county to implement a gray water recycling program within its jurisdiction. The gray water recycling program shall be limited to the use of gray water for the purpose of irrigating lawns and gardens. All use of gray water shall conform to the state plumbing code, chapter 3-183, Hawaii administrative rules.

(b) The county seeking authorization shall submit to the department for its approval prior to implementation a detailed gray water recycling plan, including rules and procedures for the proposed program. The plan shall address the appropriateness of the program for the geographic area, the environmental impact of the program on the geographic area, the cost of the program, and any other factors deemed relevant by the department. The department may revoke the authorization at any time.

The department and the counties are encouraged to promote widespread use of gray water consistent with subsection (a) in the interests of water conservation. Any guidelines for the use of gray water for irrigation purposes shall be liberally construed so as to allow widespread use of gray water.

(c) For the purposes of this section, "gray water" shall have the same meaning as in section 342D‑1.

(d) Notwithstanding subsection (a), (b), and (c), any person may use gray water for agricultural farming purposes subject to the following conditions:

(1) The use is on land classified as agricultural, on a lot greater than one acre in size, and on an island greater than four thousand square miles in area;

(2) The use is on soil classified by the land study bureau's detailed land classification as overall (master) productivity rating class C, D, or E;

(3) The use is solely for agricultural irrigation; and

(4) The water used is not more than two hundred gallons per day from a water catchment system.

As used in this subsection, "gray water" means any untreated wastewater that has not come into contact with toilet waste. Gray water includes water from bathtubs, showers, and bathroom wash basins and water from clothes washers and laundry tubs; provided that the water is not contaminated with any household hazardous waste as defined in section 342G-1 or hazardous waste as defined in section 342J-2. Gray water excludes wastewater from food preparation sinks or dishwashers."

SECTION 3. New statutory material is underscored.

SECTION 4. This Act shall take effect on July 31, 2150.


 


 

Report Title:

Gray water; Agriculture

 

Description:

Allows gray water systems to be used for agricultural farm purposes to help farmers use water and gray water nutrients more efficiently. (HB777 HD2)

 

 

 

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