TCEQ Proposes Rainwater Harvesting Rules
The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) recently released Rule Project Number 2011-057-290-OW, which relates to rainwater harvesting. The text of the proposal is available at:
The proposal implements changes made to the Texas Health and Safety Code in 2011 that were designed to encourage the use of rainwater harvesting.
Though the proposed rules allow a city to refuse to connect a rainwater harvesting system to its utility system, as the 2011 bill permits, the rules place additional burdens on cities that could force them to opt out of rainwater harvesting altogether.
Of particular interest to cities is proposed Section 290.44(j)(3), which requires that – at each residence or facility where water from a rainwater harvesting system is used for indoor potable purposes and where there is a connection to a public water system (PWS) – the PWS is responsible for ensuring that minimum treatment requirements are met. Additionally, proposed Section 290.109(h) tasks a PWS with ensuring that the microbiological quality of the treated rainwater is monitored at least annually.
The Texas Municipal League filed written comments on April 1. Cities may file comments until April 15. Submit written comments by fax to Bruce McAnally, MC 205, Office of Legal Services, Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, at 512-239-4808. Submit electronic comments at http://www5.tceq.texas.gov/rules/ecomments/.