Canadian Consulting Engineer

Health Canada has guideline for grey water use

July 26, 2010
By Canadian Consulting Engineer

The Canadian Institute of Plumbing and Heating (CIPH) has issued a reminder that Health Canada has published a...

The Canadian Institute of Plumbing and Heating (CIPH) has issued a reminder that Health Canada has published a guideline for managing domestic reclaimed water systems.
Health Canada’s “Canadian Guidelines for Domestic Reclaimed Water for Use in Toilet and Urinal Flushing” support the standard CSA B128, which is referenced in the 2010 National Plumbing Code.
CIPH advises that the guideline and the CSA B128 standard “can be used together in the development of policy and guidelines by any jurisdiction as they develop water conservation strategies and graywater requirements.”
In the executive summary to the Health Canada guidelines, which are dated January 2010, the Ministry acknowledges that reclaiming water has become more common across Canada in response to a desire for water conservation.
“However, domestic reclaimed water must be treated and managed effectively, as there is a potential health risk to users, particularly from pathogens that may be responsible for severe gastrointestinal illness.”
The introductory material to guidelines notes a risk — however low — of “accidental cross-connections between the reclaimed system and the drinking water system,” and also the fact that “users of domestic reclaimed water for toilet and urinal flushing may also accidentally ingest very small volumes of water through aerosols or hand-to-mouth contact with droplets.”
The Ministry recommends that authorities develop and implement a management program for domestic reclaimed water systems, which would include site-specific risk assessments.
While the Ministry’s long term goal is to develop comprehensive guidelines, the version just published is limited to the use of graywater for toilet or urinal flushing.
CIPH helped develop the CSA standard B128 and gave feedback to Health Canada.
To see the guideline, click here.


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