back when i was designing the house i also designed a "greywater system" that used rain water collected from the roof to flush the toilets. i have since learned that the correct terminology is not greywater, but "rain water recycling" as per the 2009 NC plumbing code. the really kool thing about this system is that i have a secondary source of semi clean water for use in my toilets, and to water the plants, or wash the car. this is a wonderful thing since we are frequently under water restrictions because we dont have enough water in the local reservoir. the restrictions start kinda minor, such as no watering the lawn on certain days, but when things get really dry they go to no watering the lawn at all, no washing the car, and they impose fines for anyone not following the rules. knowing that water will continue to be in short supply, i took the initiative to design this system and buy all the components to make it work, only to find that the town of cary really doesn't support those of us trying to make a difference....... ill get to that in a second
i spent several hours with 2 of the cary plumbing inspectors today. really nice guys, and i learned a ton from them. i asked them to offer me some advice on the water recycling system im installing. they were nice and helped me with lots of other plumbing tips and tricks but were really hesitant about the rainwater system. they informed me that currently the only guy in all of cary that has a rainwater recycling system is SAS (goodnight). supposedly they tried to avoid letting that happen but he has so much money and so much influence on the town of cary that they allowed it. the really unfortunate thing is even tho they allowed him to install the system on their new green campus building, they required the sewage to be metered rather than the incoming water supply so that they could charge him extra money for the water that was being collected from the roof and introduced into the sewage system.
in layman's terms....they are charging more if you have a water recycling system so that there is no way you can ever recover the expense of the system by having a lower water bill. i was pretty disgusted with what i was told, and i went home to study the building code, and find out if they can refuse to allow the system at all. (i was told by the inspectors that was a possibility) after reading the code section thoroughly, i confirmed my system meets all the requirements of the building code. another thing i learned is that the rules of this particular section do not go into effect till January 1st 2011 (4 months from now) so there is a distinct possibility that they could refuse to allow the system at all because by the current enforced building code there are no rules for using rainwater as part of the plumbing system.
if ever there was a way to discourage people from "doing the right thing" this would be a prime example. while i typically love living in cary, and iv lived in the triangle my entire life, i have to say that .....
town of cary wins the "fail sauce" award of the day!
today i left a message for "phil rice" chief inspector for the town of cary (also the guy that allowed the system at SAS) to see just how dificult they are going to make this. ill post more here once i get a response. in the mean while heres a drawing of the system and the 2009 NC building code section that states im allowed to do this.