Support Amending the Illinois Plumbing License Law to Include Rainwater Harvesting
- Illinois General Assembly
- United States of America
Illinois waterways are prone to flooding due to stormwater runoff, which can partially be attributed to heavy grey infrastructure and a lack of green infrastructure. Grey infrastructure merely diverts water into our sewer system, which rushes into our waterways. Normally this process does not cause problems, but during times of high rain or snowmelt, it can cause excessive flooding and discharge raw sewage from combined sewer overflows when water treatment plants cannot handle the combined flow.
Green infrastructure, on the other hand, can both absorb and hold some of this water. Various green infrastructure plans are being implemented throughout Illinois, but rainwater harvesting is a simple green infrastructure solution to water shortages and stormwater runoff that the common person can not only partake in, but also financially benefit from.
Section 2 of the Illinois Plumbing License Law, 225 ILCS 320, needs to be amended to include a more expansive definition of “plumbing,” as follows:
Sec. 2. When used in this Act:
“Plumbing” shall include rainwater harvesting distribution systems, as regulated by the Illinois Department of Public Health’s code of standards, such that rainwater harvesting distribution systems and rainwater harvesting collection systems may be used for non-potable uses.
Plumbing, as defined in the Illinois Plumbing License Law, does not currently include rainwater harvesting systems. Until the definition is amended accordingly, property owners must go through a complex variance process with the Illinois Department of Public Health to install rainwater harvesting distribution systems, which can act as a deterrent for many people.