BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    


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                              UNFINISHED BUSINESS

          Bill No:  SB 518
          Author:   Lowenthal (D)
          Amended:  6/21/10
          Vote:     21

          AYES:  Lowenthal, Huff, Ashburn, DeSaulnier, Harman, Kehoe,  
            Pavley, Simitian, Wolk
          ASSEMBLY FLOOR  :  71-0, 8/5/10 (Consent) - See last page for  

           SUBJECT  :    Building standards:  graywater

           SOURCE  :     Author

           DIGEST  :    This bill requires the California Building  
          Standards Commission to adopt, as specified,  
          non-residential building standards for graywater systems  
          for indoor and outdoor use. 

           Assembly Amendments  delete the prior version of the bill,  
          which provided incentives to cities and counties to adopt  
          measures that reduce or eliminate subsidies for parking,  
          and instead add the current language.

           ANALYSIS  :    



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          Existing law: 

          1. Defines graywater as untreated wastewater,  
             uncontaminated by toilet discharge or an unhealthy  
             bodily waste, which is not a threat from unhealthful  
             processing, manufacturing or operating wastes. Graywater  
             includes wastewater from bathtubs, showers, bathroom  
             washbasins, clothes washers, and laundry tubs.   
             Graywater excludes kitchen sink or dishwasher  

          2. Requires the Department of Housing and Community  
             Development (HCD) to propose adoption, amendment, or  
             repeal of building standards to the BSC.  Authorizes BSC  
             to approve and adopt building standards. Requires that  
             every three years a building standards rulemaking is  
             undertaken to revise and update the California Building  
             Standards Code. 

          3. Requires HCD to adopt and submit to the BSC for approval  
             building standards for the construction, installation,  
             and alteration of graywater systems for indoor and  
             outdoor use in residential occupancies. 

          This bill:

          1. Requires the BSC, at its next triennial building  
             standards rule-making cycle commencing on or after  
             January 1, 2011, to establish nonresidential building  
             standards for the construction, installation, and  
             alteration of graywater systems, as defined, for both  
             indoor and outdoor uses. 

          2. Provides that the BSC shall establish the graywater  
             standards based on: 

             A.    The protection of water quality in accordance with  
                state and federal water quality laws.

             B.    The use of existing building standards for  
                graywater construction and installations.

             C.    The impacts of graywater use on human health.


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             D.    The effects of the use of graywater for irritation  
                on soil and ground water quality.

             E.    The use and regulation of graywater in other  

             F.    Building standards on Chapter 16 of the Uniform  
                Plumbing Code adopted by the International  
                Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials.

          3. Authorizes BSC to revise and update these standards at  
             any time. 

          4. Provides that, when BSC approves the standards, the  
             existing authority of the Department of Water Resources  
             (DWR) to adopt and update non-residential graywater  
             systems standards is terminated. 


           Graywater  .  Water provided to homes and businesses meets  
          national primary drinking water standards.  However, many  
          of the applications for water use in urban environments  
          (e.g., flushing toilets, cleaning, firefighting,  
          irrigation, etc.) do not pose the same types of exposure as  
          direct ingestion of drinking water.  Recovering graywater  
          provides an opportunity to utilize an alternative water  
          source for non-potable applications, thereby preserving  
          water resources for other applications while decreasing the  
          amount of energy used to treat both drinking water and  
          wastewater and to convey water from sources to users and  
          back to treatment facilities.  However, ongoing  
          uncertainties about health risks, ecological protection,  
          and the appropriate regulatory framework for protecting  
          public health have posed barriers to implementation in  

           Graywater vs. recycled water  .  Existing law defines  
          "graywater" as "untreated wastewater which has not been  
          contaminated by any toilet discharge and does not present a  
          threat from contamination by unhealthful processing,  
          manufacturing, or operating wastes.  Graywater includes  
          wastewater from bathtubs, showers, bathroom washbasins,  
          clothes washing machines, and laundry tubs but does not  


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          include wastewater from kitchen sinks or dishwashers."   
          (Section 14876 of the Water Code) 

          Recycled water, by contrast, is waste water from all  
          sources that is treated at a waste water treatment plant so  
          as to achieve standards established by the Department of  
          Health Services.  (Section 13521 of the Water Code) 

           FISCAL EFFECT  :    Appropriation:  No   Fiscal Com.:  Yes    
          Local:  No

           SUPPORT  :   (Verified  8/5/10)

          California Building Industry Association 
          California Business Properties Association 
          California Chamber of Commerce 
          California Municipal Utilities Association 
          Environmental Justice Coalition for Water 
          Natural Resources Defense Council 
          Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors of California 
          Winnemem Wintu Tribe 

           ARGUMENTS IN SUPPORT  :    According to the author, this bill  
          addresses the need for additional water resources,  
          specifically, "as water shortages grow more frequent and  
          severe, it is imperative that the state promote the re-use  
          of graywater wherever possible.  Now that the state has  
          established graywater standards for residential uses, it is  
          time to take the next step to promote graywater re-use in  
          non-residential occupancies". 

           ASSEMBLY FLOOR  : 
          AYES:  Adams, Ammiano, Anderson, Arambula, Bass, Beall,  
            Bill Berryhill, Tom Berryhill, Block, Blumenfield,  
            Bradford, Brownley, Buchanan, Caballero, Charles  
            Calderon, Carter, Chesbro, Conway, Cook, Coto, De La  
            Torre, De Leon, DeVore, Eng, Evans, Feuer, Fong, Fuentes,  
            Fuller, Gaines, Galgiani, Garrick, Gatto, Gilmore,  
            Hagman, Hall, Harkey, Hayashi, Hernandez, Huber, Huffman,  
            Jeffries, Jones, Knight, Logue, Bonnie Lowenthal, Ma,  
            Mendoza, Miller, Monning, Nava, Nestande, Niello,  
            Nielsen, Norby, Portantino, Ruskin, Salas, Saldana,  


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            Silva, Skinner, Solorio, Audra Strickland, Swanson,  
            Torlakson, Torres, Torrico, Tran, Villines, Yamada, John  
            A. Perez
          NO VOTE RECORDED:  Blakeslee, Davis, Fletcher, Furutani,  
            Hill, Lieu, V. Manuel Perez, Smyth, Vacancy

          JJA:mw  8/10/10   Senate Floor Analyses 

                         SUPPORT/OPPOSITION:  SEE ABOVE

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