Codes harvest rainwater

IAPMO’s Green Plumbing and Mechanical Code Supplement could make rainwater harvesting systems commonplace by clearly outlining safe installation and maintenance practices.

May 14, 2012

The topic of water shortages is nothing new, as cities around the globe struggle with drought, water quality, supply constraints, and failing infrastructures. However, the idea of new plumbing codes and design standards working together to assist plumbing engineers in adding harvested rainwater systems to their design arsenal has been uncharted territory--until now.

With the publication of the 2010 IAPMO Green Plumbing and Mechanical Code Supplement (GPMCS), 2012 IAPMO Uniform Plumbing Code (UPC), and the Rainwater Catchment Plumbing Engineering Design Standard by the American Rainwater Catchment Systems Association (ARCSA) and American Society of Plumbing Engineers (ASPE), the plumbing industry now has authoritative tools at its disposal to standardize the safe and reliable use of rainwater for potable and nonpotable applications.

Rainwater harvesting provisions were introduced in the GPMCS and the UPC by the IAPMO Green Technical Committee (GTC) as part of a broader effort to reduce the energy and water consumption of plumbing and mechanical systems while ensuring that these systems are safe and reliable. The GTC is comprised of the broadest group of expert stakeholders ever assembled to develop sustainable plumbing and mechanical requirements. ASPE and ARCSA are well represented on the GTC and played a critical role in the development of the first model code provisions for rainwater harvesting.

Jeffrey L. Ingertson, CPD, FASPE, ASPE's vice president of membership, serves as ASPE's official representative, while Bob Boulware, immediate past president of ARCSA (and an ASPE member), represents ARCSA. Larry N. Oliver, CPD, FASPE, former ASPE president, and April K. Trafton, president of Donald Dickerson and Associates, round out the slate of plumbing engineering members of the GTC. Additionally, more than 20 sustainable plumbing engineering experts serve among the more than 125 members of the 12 task groups that operate under the GTC.

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