Systems for bringing in clean water and removing wastewater date back thousands of years and work seamlessly in the background of our lives. Green plumbing is evolving, and using gray water and rainwater recovery systems, often with solar heating components, is part of the specialized green training for plumbing professionals.
While traditional building code violations include issues with line pressure and pipe supports, water heaters and venting, an added issue in green plumbing inspection often comes in paper rather than water form: permits. New technologies in green building include fixtures, installation and systems that are off the charts when it comes to building code inspection. Many sustainable features fall within "special project" guidelines and the flexibility of an inspector. Before connecting pipes and fitting fixtures for greener waters, get the local permits and papers in order to avoid costly do-overs or retrofittings. Some locales, for instance, mandate where you get your water, meaning you may be restricted from using gray water.
Although the Uniform Plumbing Code (UPC) and the International Plumbing Code (IPC) are industry standards that incorporate some green practices (such as water conservation), there hasn't been an official code for using gray water and other green systems. Plans for more green plumbing guidelines are in the works, but builders need to test the waters for compliance in the meantime.