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The environment desk at Aspen Public Radio covers issues in the Roaring Fork Valley and throughout the state of Colorado including water use and quality, impact of recreation, population growth and oil and gas development. APR’s Environment Reporter is Elizabeth Stewart-Severy.

PitCo allows for reuse of 'graywater'

Elizabeth Stewart-Severy
Aspen Public Radio

Pitkin County adopted new regulations this week that allow residents to capture and reuse water from some kinds of indoor plumbing.


The county now allows for reuse of graywater, which is wastewater from laundry, showers and bathroom sinks. It does not include toilets, urinals or kitchen sinks.

In Colorado, it’s only legal to reuse graywater for outdoor irrigation and for indoor toilet flushing. The state health department says this can mean saving up to 28 gallons of water per person per day. But interested residents or businesses will need to jump through some hoops.

Anyone interested in using graywater to irrigate a lawn will have to show that they have the water right to do so. Kurt Dahl, from Pitkin County’s environmental health department, said the county will work with the Colorado Division of Water Resources to sort out any issues.

Any graywater used to flush indoor toilets will first need to be disinfected.

Dahl said Pitkin County is the second jurisdiction in the state to adopt graywater reuse regulations. Officials with the City of Aspen are researching the options.


Aspen native Elizabeth Stewart-Severy is excited to be making a return to both the Red Brick, where she attended kindergarten, and the field of journalism. She has spent her entire life playing in the mountains and rivers around Aspen, and is thrilled to be reporting about all things environmental in this special place. She attended the University of Colorado with a Boettcher Scholarship, and graduated as the top student from the School of Journalism in 2006. Her lifelong love of hockey lead to a stint working for the Colorado Avalanche, and she still plays in local leagues and coaches the Aspen Junior Hockey U-19 girls.
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