ADOPTS WITH AMENDMENTS:

UPC 2018

Heads up: There are no amended sections in this chapter.
The provisions of this chapter shall apply to the installation, construction, alteration, and repair of nonpotable rainwater catchment systems.
Where approved or required by the Authority Having Jurisdiction, rainwater shall be permitted to be used instead of potable water for the applications identified in this chapter.
Rainwater catchment systems shall be designed in accordance with this chapter by a person registered or licensed to perform plumbing design work or who demonstrates competency to design the rainwater catchment system as required by the Authority Having Jurisdiction. Components, piping, and fittings used in a rainwater catchment system shall be listed.

Exceptions:

  1. A person registered or licensed to perform plumbing design work is not required to design rainwater catchment systems used for irrigation with a maximum storage capacity of 360 gallons (1363 L).
  2. A person registered or licensed to perform plumbing design work is not required to design rainwater catchment systems for single family dwellings where outlets, piping, and system components are located on the exterior of the building.
It shall be unlawful for a person to construct, install, alter, or cause to be constructed, installed, or altered a rainwater catchment system in a building or on a premise without first obtaining a permit to do such work from the Authority Having Jurisdiction.

Exceptions:

  1. A permit is not required for exterior rainwater catchment systems used for outdoor drip and subsurface irrigation with a maximum storage capacity of 360 gallons (1363 L).
  2. A plumbing permit is not required for rainwater catchment systems for single family dwellings where outlets, piping, and system components are located on the exterior of the building. This does not exempt the need for permits where required for electrical connections, tank supports, or enclosures.
System components shall be properly identified as to the manufacturer.
Rainwater catchment systems and components shall be inspected and maintained in accordance with Section 1601.5.1 through Section 1601.5.3.

TABLE 1601.5
MINIMUM ALTERNATE WATER SOURCE TESTING, INSPECTION, AND MAINTENANCE FREQUENCY

DESCRIPTION MINIMUM FREQUENCY
Inspect and clean filters and screens, and replace (where necessary). Every 3 months
Inspect and verify that disinfection, filters, and water quality treatment devices and systems are operational and maintaining minimum water quality requirements as determined by the Authority Having Jurisdiction. In accordance with manufacturer's instructions and the Authority Having Jurisdiction.
Inspect and clear debris from rainwater gutters, downspouts, and roof washers. Every 6 months
Inspect and clear debris from the roof or another aboveground rainwater collection surfaces. Every 6 months
Remove tree branches and vegetation overhanging a roof or other aboveground rainwater collection surfaces. As needed
Inspect pumps and verify operation. After initial installation and every 12 months thereafter
Inspect valves and verify operation. After initial installation and every 12 months thereafter
Inspect pressure tanks and verify operation. After initial installation and every 12 months thereafter
Clear debris from and inspect storage tanks, locking devices, and verify operation. After initial installation and every 12 months thereafter
Inspect caution labels and marking. After initial installation and every 12 months thereafter
Cross-connection inspection and test* After initial installation and every 12 months thereafter
Test water quality of rainwater catchment systems required by Section 1602.9.6 to maintain a minimum water quality Every 12 months. After system renovation or repair.

* The cross-connection test shall be performed in the presence of the Authority Having Jurisdiction in accordance with the requirements of this chapter.

Rainwater catchment systems and components shall be inspected and maintained in accordance with Table 1601.5 unless more frequent inspection and maintenance are required by the manufacturer.
A maintenance log for rainwater catchment systems is required to have a permit in accordance with Section 1601.3 and shall be maintained by the property owner and be available for inspection. The property owner or designated appointee shall ensure that a record of testing, inspection, and maintenance in accordance with Table 1601.5 is maintained in the log. The log will indicate the frequency of inspection and maintenance for each system.
The required maintenance and inspection of rainwater catchment systems shall be the responsibility of the property owner unless otherwise required by the Authority Having Jurisdiction.
An operation and maintenance manual for rainwater catchment systems required to have a permit in accordance with Section 1601.3, shall be supplied to the building owner by the system designer. The operating and maintenance manual shall include the following:
  1. Detailed diagram of the entire system and the location of system components.
  2. Instructions for operating and maintaining the system.
  3. Details on maintaining the required water quality as determined by the Authority Having Jurisdiction.
  4. Details on deactivating the system for maintenance, repair, or other purposes.
  5. Applicable testing, inspection, and maintenance frequencies in accordance with Table 1601.5.
  6. A method of contacting the manufacturer(s).
The minimum water quality for rainwater catchment systems shall comply with the applicable water quality requirements for the intended application as determined by the Authority Having Jurisdiction. Water quality for nonpotable rainwater catchment systems shall comply with Section 1602.9.6.

Exceptions:

  1. Water treatment is not required for rainwater catchment systems used for aboveground irrigation with a maximum storage capacity of 360 gallons (1363 L).
  2. Water treatment is not required for rainwater catchment systems used for subsurface or drip irrigation.
Rainwater catchment systems shall be constructed of materials that are compatible with the type of pipe and fitting materials, water treatment, and water conditions in the system.
Controls for pumps, valves, and other devices that contain mercury that come in contact with rainwater supply shall not be permitted.
Underground rainwater catchment service piping shall be separated from the building sewer in accordance with Section 609.2. Treated nonpotable water pipes shall be permitted to be run or laid in the same trench as potable water pipes with a 12 inch (305 mm) minimum vertical and horizontal separation where both pipe materials are approved for use within a building. Where horizontal piping materials do not meet this requirement, the minimum separation shall be increased to 60 inches (1524 mm). The potable water piping shall be installed at an elevation above the treated nonpotable water piping.
Rainwater catchment systems that are no longer in use, or fail to be maintained in accordance with Section 1601.5, shall be abandoned. Abandonment shall comply with Section 1601.11.1 and Section 1601.11.2.
An abandoned system or part thereof covered under the scope of this chapter shall be disconnected from remaining systems, drained, plugged, and capped in an approved manner.
An underground water storage tank that has been abandoned or otherwise discontinued from use in a system covered under the scope of this chapter shall be completely drained and filled with earth, sand, gravel, concrete, or other approved material or removed in a manner satisfactory to the Authority Having Jurisdiction.
Unless otherwise provided for in this chapter, rainwater catchment piping shall be sized in accordance with Chapter 6 for sizing potable water piping.
The installation, construction, alteration, and repair of rainwater catchments systems intended to supply uses such as water closets, urinals, trap primers for floor drains and floor sinks, irrigation, industrial processes, water features, cooling tower makeup and other uses shall be approved by the Authority Having Jurisdiction.
No permit for a rainwater catchment system shall be issued until complete plumbing plans, with data satisfactory to the Authority Having Jurisdiction, have been submitted and approved.
No changes or connections shall be made to either the rainwater catchment system or the potable water system within a site containing a rainwater catchment system requiring a permit without approval by the Authority Having Jurisdiction.
Rainwater catchment systems shall have no direct connection to a potable water supply or alternate water source system. Potable or reclaimed (recycled) water is permitted to be used as makeup water for a rainwater catchment system provided the potable or reclaimed (recycled) water supply connection is protected by an air gap or reduced-pressure principle backflow preventer in accordance with this code.
Where a portion of a rainwater catchment system is installed within a building, a cross-connection test is required in accordance with Section 1605.3. Before the building is occupied or the system is activated, the installer shall perform the initial cross-connection test in the presence of the Authority Having Jurisdiction and other authorities having jurisdiction. The test shall be ruled successful by the Authority Having Jurisdiction before final approval is granted.
The design and size of rainwater drains, gutters, conductors, and leaders shall comply with Chapter 11 of this code.
Rainwater catchment water supply and distribution materials shall comply with the requirements of this code for potable water supply and distribution systems unless otherwise provided for in this section.
Materials used in rainwater catchment drainage systems, including gutters, downspouts, conductors, and leaders shall be in accordance with the requirements of this code for storm drainage.
The collection surface shall be constructed of a hard, impervious material.
Rainwater catchment systems shall have a colored background in accordance with Section 601.3. Rainwater catchment systems shall be marked, in lettering in accordance with Section 601.3.3, with the words: "CAUTION: NONPOTABLE RAINWATER WATER, DO NOT DRINK."
The design and installation of nonpotable rainwater catchment systems shall be in accordance with Section 1602.9.1 through Section 1603.16.
Outside hose bibbs shall be allowed on rainwater piping systems. Hose bibbs supplying rainwater shall be marked with the words: "CAUTION: NONPOTABLE WATER, DO NOT DRINK" and Figure 1602.9.1

FIGURE 1602.9.1

The rainwater catchment system and the potable water system within the building shall be provided with the required appurtenances (e.g., valves, air or vacuum relief valves, etc.) to allow for deactivation or drainage as required for a cross-connection test in accordance with Section 1605.3.

Rainwater shall be collected from roof surfaces or other manmade, aboveground collection surfaces.

Natural precipitation collected from surface water runoff, vehicular parking surfaces, or manmade surfaces at or below grade shall be in accordance with the stormwater requirements for on-site treated nonpotable water systems in Section 1506.0.
Overflows and bleed-off pipes from roof-mounted equipment and appliances shall not discharge onto roof surfaces that are intended to collect rainwater.
The minimum water quality for harvested rainwater shall meet the applicable water quality requirements for the intended applications as determined by the Authority Having Jurisdiction. In the absence of water quality requirements determined by the Authority Having Jurisdiction, the minimum treatment and water quality shall be in accordance with Table 1602.9.6.
TABLE 1602.9.6
MINIMUM WATER QUALITY
APPLICATION MINIMUM TREATMENT MINIMUM
WATER
QUALITY
Car washing Debris excluder or other approved means in accordance with Section 1603.14, and 100 microns in accordance with Section 1603.15 for drip irrigation. N/A
Subsurface and drip irrigation Debris excluder or other approved means in accordance with Section 1603.14, and 100 microns in accordance with Section 1603.15 for drip irrigation. N/A
Spray irrigation where the maximum storage volume is less than 360 gallons Debris excluder or other approved means in accordance with Section 1603.14, and disinfection in accordance with Section 1603.12. N/A
Spray irrigation where the maximum storage volume is equal to or more than 360 gallons Debris excluder or other approved means in accordance with Section 1603.14. Escherichia coli: < 100 CFU/100 mL, and Turbidity: < 10 NTU
Urinal and water closet flushing, clothes washing, and trap priming Debris excluder or other approved means in accordance with Section 1603.14, and 100 microns in accordance with Section 1603.15. Escherichia coli: < 100 CFU/100 mL, and Turbidity: < 10 NTU
Ornamental fountains and other water features Debris excluder or other approved means in accordance with Section 1603.14. Escherichia coli: < 100 CFU/100 mL, and Turbidity: < 10 NTU
Cooling tower make-up water Debris excluder or other approved means in accordance with Section 1603.14, and 100 microns in accordance with Section 1603.15. Escherichia coli: < 100 CFU/100 mL, and Turbidity: < 10 NTU

For SI units: 1 micron = 1 µm, 1 gallon = 3.785 L

Rainwater storage tanks shall be constructed and installed in accordance with Section 1603.2 through Section 1603.9.
Rainwater storage tanks shall be constructed of solid, durable materials not subject to excessive corrosion or decay and shall be watertight.
Rainwater storage tanks shall be permitted to be installed above or below grade.
Above grade, storage tanks shall be of an opaque material, approved for aboveground use in direct sunlight or shall be shielded from direct sunlight. Tanks shall be installed in an accessible location to allow for inspection and cleaning. The tank shall be installed on a foundation or platform that is constructed to accommodate loads in accordance with the building code.
Rainwater storage tanks installed below grade shall be structurally designed to withstand anticipated earth or other loads. Holding tank covers shall be capable of supporting an earth load of not less than 300 pounds per square foot (lb/ft2) (1465 kg/m2) where the tank is designed for underground installation. Below grade rainwater tanks installed underground shall be provided with manholes. The manhole opening shall be not less than 20 inches (508 mm) in diameter and located not less than 4 inches (102 mm) above the surrounding grade. The surrounding grade shall be sloped away from the manhole. Underground tanks shall be ballasted, anchored, or otherwise secured, to prevent the tank from floating out of the ground where empty. The combined weight of the tank and hold down system shall meet or exceed the buoyancy force of the tank.
Rainwater storage tanks shall be provided with a means of draining and cleaning. The overflow drain shall not be equipped with a shutoff valve. The overflow outlet shall discharge in accordance with this code for storm drainage systems. Where discharging to the storm drainage system, the overflow drain shall be protected from backflow of the storm drainage system by a backwater valve or other approved method.
The overflow outlet shall be sized to accommodate the flow of the rainwater entering the tank and not less than the aggregate cross-sectional area of inflow pipes.
Rainwater tank openings shall be protected to prevent the entrance of insects, birds, or rodents into the tank.

Rainwater tank access openings exceeding 12 inches (305 mm) in diameter shall be secured to prevent tampering and unintended entry by either a lockable device or other approved method.

Rainwater tanks shall be permanently marked with the capacity and the language: "NONPOTABLE RAINWATER." Where openings are provided to allow a person to enter the tank, the opening shall be marked with the following language: "DANGER-CONFINED SPACE."
Where venting using drainage or overflow piping is not provided or is considered insufficient, a vent shall be installed on each tank. The vent shall extend from the top of the tank and terminate not less than 6 inches (152 mm) above grade and shall be not less than 11/2 inches (40 mm) in diameter. The vent terminal shall be directed downward and covered with a 3/32 of an inch (2.4 mm) mesh screen to prevent the entry of vermin and insects.
Pumps serving rainwater catchment systems shall be listed. Pumps supplying water to water closets, urinals, and trap primers shall be capable of delivering not less than 15 pounds-force per square inch (psi) (103 kPa) residual pressure at the highest and most remote outlet served. Where the water pressure in the rainwater supply system within the building exceeds 80 psi (552 kPa), a pressure reducing valve reducing the pressure to 80 psi (552 kPa) or less to water outlets in the building shall be installed in accordance with this code.
Primary and secondary roof drains, conductors, leaders, and gutters shall be designed and installed in accordance with this code.
Devices and equipment used to treat rainwater to maintain the minimum water quality requirements determined by the Authority Having Jurisdiction shall be listed or labeled (third-party certified) by a listing agency (accredited conformity assessment body) and approved for the intended application.
Tanks and piping installed in locations subject to freezing shall be provided with an approved means of freeze protection.
The rainwater catchment conveyance system shall be equipped with a debris excluder or other approved means to prevent the accumulation of leaves, needles, other debris and sediment from entering the storage tank. Devices or methods used to remove debris or sediment shall be accessible and sized and installed in accordance with manufacturer's installation instructions.
A filter permitting the passage of particulates not larger than 100 microns (100 µm) shall be provided for rainwater supplied to water closets, urinals, trap primers, and drip irrigation system.
Gutters shall maintain a minimum slope and be sized in accordance with Section 1103.3.
Signs in buildings using rainwater shall be in accordance with Section 1604.2 and Section 1604.3.
A sign shall be installed in restrooms in commercial, industrial, and institutional occupancies using nonpotable rainwater for water closets, urinals, or both. Each sign shall contain 1/2 of an inch (12.7 mm) letters of a highly visible color on a contrasting background. The location of the sign(s) shall be such that the sign(s) shall be visible to users. The number and location of the signs shall be approved by the Authority Having Jurisdiction and shall contain the following text:

TO CONSERVE WATER, THIS BUILDING USES RAINWATER TO FLUSH TOILETS AND URINALS.

Each equipment room containing nonpotable rainwater equipment shall have a sign posted with the following wording in 1 inch (25.4 mm) letters:

CAUTION NONPOTABLE RAINWATER, DO NOT DRINK. DO NOT CONNECT TO DRINKING WATER SYSTEM. NOTICE: CONTACT BUILDING MANAGEMENT BEFORE PERFORMING ANY WORK ON THIS WATER SYSTEM.

This sign shall be posted in a location that is visible to anyone working on or near rainwater water equipment.

Rainwater catchment systems shall be inspected and tested in accordance with Section 1605.2 and Section 1605.3
Rainwater catchment systems shall be inspected and tested in accordance with the applicable provisions of this code for testing of potable water and storm drainage systems. Storage tanks shall be filled with water to the overflow opening for a period of 24 hours, and during the inspection, or by other means as approved by the Authority Having Jurisdiction. Seams and joints shall be exposed during the inspection and checked for watertightness.
An initial and subsequent annual inspection and test in accordance with Section 1602.5 shall be performed on both the potable and rainwater catchment water systems. The potable and rainwater catchment water systems shall be isolated from each other and independently inspected and tested to ensure there is no cross-connection in accordance with Section 1605.3.1 through Section 1605.3.4.
Prior to commencing the cross-connection testing, a dual system inspection shall be conducted by the Authority Having Jurisdiction and other authorities having jurisdiction as follows:
  1. Pumps, equipment, equipment room signs, and exposed piping in an equipment room shall be checked.
The procedure for determining cross-connection shall be followed by the applicant in the presence of the Authority Having Jurisdiction and other authorities having jurisdiction to determine whether a cross-connection has occurred as follows:
  1. The potable water system shall be activated and pressurized. The rainwater catchment water system shall be shut down and completely drained.
  2. The potable water system shall remain pressurized for a minimum period of time specified by the Authority Having Jurisdiction while the rainwater catchment water system is empty. The minimum period the rainwater catchment water system is to remain depressurized shall be determined on a case-by-case basis, taking into account the size and complexity of the potable and rainwater catchment water distribution systems, but in no case shall that period be less than 1 hour.
  3. Fixtures, potable, and rainwater shall be tested and inspected for flow. Flow from a rainwater catchment water system outlet shall indicate a cross-connection. No flow from a potable water outlet shall indicate that it is connected to the rainwater water system.
  4. The drain on the rainwater catchment water system shall be checked for flow during the test and at the end of the period.
  5. The potable water system shall then be completely drained.
  6. The rainwater catchment water system shall then be activated and pressurized.
  7. The rainwater catchment water system shall remain pressurized for a minimum period of time specified by the Authority Having Jurisdiction while the potable water system is empty. The minimum period the potable water system is to remain depressurized shall be determined on a case-by-case basis, but in no case shall that period be less than 1 hour.
  8. Fixtures, potable and rainwater catchment, shall be tested and inspected for flow. Flow from a potable water system outlet shall indicate a cross-connection. No flow from a rainwater catchment water outlet shall indicate that it is connected to the potable water system.
  9. The drain on the potable water system shall be checked for flow during the test and at the end of the period.
  10. Where there is no flow detected in the fixtures which would indicate a cross-connection, the potable water system shall be repressurized.
In the event that a cross-connection is discovered, the following procedure, in the presence of the Authority Having Jurisdiction, shall be activated immediately:
  1. Rainwater catchment water piping to the building shall be shutdown at the meter, and the rainwater water riser shall be drained.
  2. Potable water piping to the building shall be shutdown at the meter.
  3. The cross-connection shall be uncovered and disconnected.
  4. The building shall be retested following procedures listed in Section 1605.3.1 and Section 1605.3.2.
  5. The potable water system shall be chlorinated with 50 ppm chlorine for 24 hours.
  6. The potable water system shall be flushed after 24 hours, and a standard bacteriological test shall be performed. Where test results are acceptable, the potable water system shall be permitted to be recharged.
An annual inspection of the rainwater catchment water system, following the procedures listed in Section 1605.3.1 shall be required. Annual cross-connection testing, following the procedures listed in Section 1605.3.2 shall be required by the Authority Having Jurisdiction, unless site conditions do not require it. In no event shall the test occur less than once in 4 years.

Alternate testing requirements shall be permitted by the Authority Having Jurisdiction.

UpCodes Premium
Leverage the most sophisticated code compliance platform.
TRY FREE FOR TWO WEEKS VISIT PRICING