CU-Boulder's 'Graywater' System At New 'Green' Dorm Hung Up By State Law

Friday, February 24, 2012

The University of Colorado's new green-themed dorm is equipped with the plumbing system needed to trap wastewater from showers and sinks, sanitize it, and then recycle the water so it can flow through toilets.

But CU officials say convoluted health regulations and state law prevent the university from using the "graywater" system -- which could save at least 1 million gallons of water every year at Williams Village North.

The dorm, which opened last fall, houses 500 students near Baseline Road and 30th Street, and received top green credentials from the U.S. Green Building Council, becoming the only residence hall of its size in the nation to earn the platinum rating for its sustainability features.

But it may be at least another year before CU can begin recycling the dorm's water through a planned pilot program.

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