DENVER (CBS4) – Denver City Council passed an ordinance Monday that allows Denver to use graywater for residential, commercial, and industrial purposes.

Graywater is also known as reclaimed water, and is defined as wastewater that is collected from fixtures of residential, commercial, and industrial buildings for the purpose of having a second beneficial use. It can be collected from bathroom and laundry sinks, bathtubs, showers, and washing machines.

Uses for graywater include flushing toilets and urinals, or irrigation of non-agricultural crops.

The use of graywater in Colorado was approved by the state legislature in 2013, giving local health departments the ability to monitor and regulate the use. In 2015, local governments were authorized the use of graywater.

This marks the completion of one of the commitments announced by the city at last December’s Sustainable Denver Summit.

“Water is a precious resource in Colorado and as Denver’s population grows, water conservation will be of continued importance. We’re excited to be the first to pass a measure that gives our residents and businesses the ability to save resources and money at the same time,” said Mayor Michael B. Hancock in a statement.

It’s a new option to conserve water, and to reduce use of potable water for unnecessary purposes.

Large facilities such as hotels, multi-family residential buildings, or dormitories that have a high water demand for toilet flushing could realize significant water and cost savings with the use of graywater.

The Board of Environmental Health is expected to approve rules and regulations in late summer. Participation will be voluntary.


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