Texas Greywater Code

  • Although the Texas code is less easy to read than other codes, such as New Mexico and Arizona, it does not prohibit the use of graywater for irrigating produce.
  • No authorization is required for the domestic use of less than 400 gallons of graywater each day.
  • It is interesting that substantial focus is placed on using graywater to maintain moisture levels around building foundations to prevent movement / cracking. This is also common practice in Australia.

The following is an excerpt relevant to residential graywater re-use.


§§210.81 – 210.85
Effective January 6, 2005
Adopted December 15, 2004 Effective January 6, 2005

§210.82. General Requirements.


Graywater is defined as wastewater from:

  1. showers;
  2. bathtubs;
  3. hand washing lavatories;
  4. sinks that are not used for disposal of hazardous or toxic ingredients;
  5. sinks not used for food preparation or disposal; and
  6. clothes-washing machines.
Graywater does not include wastewater from the washing of material, including diapers, soiled with human excreta or wastewater that has come into contact with toilet waste.
Construction of a graywater system, including storage and disposal systems, must comply with this chapter and any requirements of the local permitting authority.
§210.83. Criteria for the Domestic Use of Graywater.

An authorization is not required for the domestic use of less than 400 gallons of graywater each day if:

  1. the graywater originates from a private residence;
  2.  the graywater system is designed so that 100% of the graywater can be diverted to an organized wastewater collection system during periods of non-use of the graywater system and the discharge from the graywater system must enter the organized wastewater system through two backwater valves or backwater preventers;
  3. the graywater is stored in tanks and the tanks:
    (A) are clearly labelled as nonpotable water;
    (B) must restrict access, especially to children;
    (C) eliminate habitat for mosquitoes and other vectors;
    (D) are able to be cleaned; and
    (E) meet the structural requirements of §210.25(i) of this title (relating to Special Design Criteria for Reclaimed Water Systems);
  4.  the graywater system uses piping that meets the piping requirement of §210.25 of this title;
  5. the graywater is applied at a rate that:
    (A) will not result in ponding or pooling; or
    (B) will not cause runoff across the property lines or onto any paved surface; and
  6. the graywater is not disposed of using a spray distribution system.

Builders of private residences are encouraged to:

  1. install plumbing in new housing to collect graywater from all allowable sources; and
  2. design and install a subsurface graywater system around the foundation of new housing to minimize foundation movement or cracking.

A graywater system as described in subsection (a) of this section may only be used:

  1. around the foundation of new housing to minimize foundation movement or cracking;
  2. for gardening;
  3. for composting; or
  4. for landscaping at the private residence.
The graywater system must not create a nuisance or damage the quality of surface water or groundwater.

Homeowners who have been disposing wastewater from residential clothes-washing machines, otherwise known as laundry graywater, directly onto the ground before the effective date of this rule may continue disposing under the following conditions.

  1. The disposal area must not create a public health nuisance.
  2. Surface ponding must not occur in the disposal area.
  3. The disposal area must support plant growth or be sodded with vegetative cover.
  4. The disposal area must have limited access and use by residents and pets.
  5. Laundry graywater that has been in contact with human or animal waste must not be disposed onto the ground surface.
  6. Laundry graywater must not be disposed to an area where the soil is wet.
  7. A lint trap must be affixed to the end of the discharge line.
Graywater systems that are altered, create a nuisance, or discharge graywater from any source other than clothes-washing machines are not authorized to discharge graywater under subsection (e) of this section.