Atlanta residents may soon look hopefully toward the heavens for relief from Georgia’s ongoing water troubles.
Proposed changes to the city plumbing laws would legalize and regulate the use of potable rainwater catchment systems to gather and treat rainwater for indoor residential use.
Residents wishing to supplement their dependence on the city’s water supply through potable rainwater catchment systems would be subject to tests of their equipment and would be required to install a backflow prevention device to keep the city’s water supply separate from personal stashes of filtered rainwater, according to a memo released by Atlanta’s Office of Sustainability,
Also, residents would be charged a fee based on the size of their storage tanks by the Department of Watershed management. The fee would offset the cost the collected rainwater running into the city’s sewer system, the memo said.
“This is just another avenue that the city’s looking at to get more green,” said City of Atlanta Watershed Complex Superintendent Thomas Kopanski, of the proposed ordinance.
Kopanski, speaking at the June 7 meeting of Atlanta NPU-B, said although higher-end catchment systems might bring water up to or above federal drinking water standards, residents would be more likely to utilize such systems for uses such as laundry, dishwashing and showering, rather than for drinking.
“At the treatment plant, tests are performed each and every hour of the day,” he said. “And, in addition to the process control tests that we perform at the plant, we have a lab section that provides tests.”