4800 West 92nd Avenue Westminster, CO 80031

City Government


12. Reclaimed/Non Potable Water Regulations

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8-12-11: DUTY OF USER

8-12-1:   DEFINITIONS:  (2767 3134 3683)  The following words, terms, and phrases, when used in this Chapter, shall have the following meaning, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise: 

 “Agronomic Rate” shall mean the rate of application of nutrients to plants that is necessary to satisfy the plants' nutritional requirements, while strictly minimizing the amount of nutrients that run off to surface waters or that pass below the root zone of the plants.

“Commercial User” shall mean a person who uses non-potable water in the operation of a business patronized by the public, or who provides services to the public.

“Direct Reuse” shall mean the use of reclaimed domestic wastewater that, after treatment, has not been discharged into waters of the State.

“High-Water Landscape” shall mean landscape that requires greater than ten (10) gallons per square foot annually.

“Industrial User” shall mean a person who uses reclaimed water for industrial processes or in the construction process.

“Irrigation System” shall mean the facilities, piping and other equipment used by a landscape irrigation user.

“Landscape Irrigation” shall mean irrigation of areas of grass, trees, and other vegetation that are accessible to the public, including, but not limited to, parks, greenbelts, golf courses, and common areas at apartment, townhouse, commercial/business parks, and other similar complexes.

“Landscape Irrigation User” shall mean a person who uses non-potable water for the purpose of landscape irrigation.

“Low-Water Landscape” shall mean landscape that requires three (3) gallons of water per square foot or less annually and is watered using water saving irrigation technologies, such as drip, micro spray, or subsurface.

“Mains” shall mean the main pipes and connections forming a part of the City reclaimed/non-potable waterworks.  

“Meter” shall mean the device, appropriate to the premise served, installed to measure the amount of water passing through it, with an accuracy of between ninety-five percent (95%) and one hundred one percent (101%) of actual quantities delivered.

“Meter Service Charge” shall mean the fee for maintaining the meter, reading the meter, periodically billing the account, and processing payments.

“Moderate-Water Landscape” shall mean landscape that requires more than three (3), but less than ten (10), gallons of water per square foot annually.

“Non-potable Water” shall mean water used for purposes other than human consumption that is not treated to potable water standards.  This includes water from ditches, lakes, ponds, or the reclaimed treatment system.

“Person” shall mean an individual, corporation, partnership, association, state or political subdivision thereof, federal agency, state agency, municipality, commission, or interstate body.

“Point of Compliance” shall mean a point identified by the treater in the non-potable water treatment or transmission system after all treatment has been completed, prior to dilution and blending.

“Reclaimed Water” shall mean that water that originates from the City’s reclaimed water treatment facility and is distributed through the reclaimed water distribution system for the express purpose of non-potable uses. 

“Reclaimed Water Treatment Facility” shall mean a facility that receives wastewater from a domestic wastewater treatment facility with secondary treatment and provides such additional treatment to enable the wastewater to meet the standards for approved uses.

“Restricted Access” shall mean controlled and limited access to the areas where reclaimed water is being used and meets the category 1 standards as defined in the Colorado Code of Regulations (“C.C.R.”) Section 84.7.

“Restricted Use” shall mean landscape irrigation with reclaimed domestic wastewater that meets the requirements of C.C.R. Sections 84.6.B., 84.7, and 84.8.

“Service Commitment” shall mean the average annual water service provided to one (1) single-family detached dwelling unit (currently 140,000 gal./yr.).

“Service Pipe” shall mean a branch pipe with its fittings and connections through which water is taken.

“Street” shall mean any street, avenue, alley, lane or other thoroughfare.

“Tap” shall mean an opening or connection in the mains through which water is taken.

“Transmission System” shall mean the treater’s facilities that transport treated non-potable water between the treater and users.

“Treater” shall mean a person who treats and provides reclaimed water to an applicator/user for the purpose of landscape irrigation, commercial or industrial use.  The treater and the applicator/user may be the same entity.

“Unrestricted Access” shall mean uncontrolled access to the areas where reclaimed water is being used and meets the category 2 standards as defined in C.C.R. Section 84.7. 

“Unrestricted Use” shall mean landscape irrigation with reclaimed domestic wastewater that meets the requirements of C.C.R. Sections 84.6.A and 84.7.

“User” shall mean the owner of the property upon which the non-potable or reclaimed water is to be utilized for landscape irrigation, fire protection, commercial, or industrial uses.

“User Plan to Comply” shall mean the information and documentation a user of reclaimed water is required to submit to the division under C.C.R. Sections 84.9 and 84.10 of this regulation.

8-12-2:  APPROPRIATE USES:  (2767 3134) 

(A) Reclaimed/non-potable water will be made available for allowable purposes on commercial/industrial sites, parks, golf courses and common areas within residential developments, as allowed by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, C.C.R. Section 84.  Reclaimed water will not be available for individual, single-family residential use. 

(B) All new developments will be required to submit an application for review for connection to the reclaimed/non-potable water system.  This application will be submitted to the Department of Public Works and Utilities as part of the Preliminary/Official Development Plan (PDP/ODP) process.  It shall be at the sole discretion of the City Manager or his designee to decide if a new development will utilize reclaimed/non-potable or potable water for landscape irrigation practices based on City of Westminster criteria.  The criteria may include, but not be limited to;

  1. The availability of non-potable or reclaimed water distribution /transmission lines in the area of the development and/or project.
  2. Availability of sufficient irrigated area for use of non-potable or reclaimed water.
  3. Conformance with state and federal regulations.

(C)  No use of non-potable water will commence, or connection to the reclaimed/non-potable system be made, without the prior approval of the City.

(D)  USERS WITH EXISTING IRRIGATION SYSTEMS. when reclaimed/non-potable water becomes available to a property, the City Manager or his designee shall provide written notice to the potential customer(s) located on that property of such availability.  Users with existing irrigation systems using potable water who desire to convert to non-potable water, must apply for reclaimed/non-potable water in accordance with the application procedures specified in this article.  Approved users must disconnect irrigation systems from the potable water system and connect to the non-potable water system within one hundred eighty (180) days of such written notice of approval.

(E)  USERS WITH NEW OR REDEVELOPED IRRIGATION TAPS.  All new irrigation systems constructed after the effective date of this article and approved application process must connect to the reclaimed/non-potable water system at construction, if non-potable water is available to the property and if deemed reasonable by the city manager or his designee.  Such connection must be made prior to, or contemporaneously with connection of other improvements on the property to the potable water system.  If reclaimed/non-potable water is not available to a property at the time of construction of an irrigation system but is planned to be available in the future, construction to reclaimed water system standards may be required.  In such instances connection to the non-potable water system may be required within one hundred and eighty (180) days of notice of availability from the City.   The City Manager or his designee may approve temporary connections to the potable system.  Once reclaimed/non-potable water becomes available the user may be required to connect to the reclaimed non-potable system within 180 days.
8-12-3:  APPLICABILITY:  (3134)

(A)  These regulations apply to the use of reclaimed/non-potable water for landscape irrigation, industrial uses, and commercial uses. No unapproved use of reclaimed water is permitted, except that these regulations do not apply to reuse of treated wastewater for: on-site landscape irrigation by wastewater treatment plants, agricultural use, or industrial use or to wastewater that has been treated and released to state waters. These regulations apply to the use of reclaimed water for individual treaters and users, as defined below, upon the issuance of a notice of authorization by the water quality control division.

(B) These regulations only apply to users of the City's non-potable and reclaimed water systems.

8-12-4:  UTILITY PERMIT REQUIRED: (2767 3134)

(A)  A reclaimed/non-potable water tap shall not be made on any reclaimed /non-potable water main, either public or private, or any other portion of the waterworks of the city without first securing an approved utility permit.  The application for a reclaimed/non-potable utility permit shall be made in writing upon a form furnished by the city and shall clearly state the tap size, irrigated area by hydrozone, address, and person applying for tap and any other information as the city may reasonably require.

(B)  Reclaimed/non-potable service lines and meter vaults may be installed as part of water main construction, if prior written approval has been received from the city. The installations of these service lines and meter vaults are subject to inspection and approval by the city and shall be in accordance with adopted city standards and specifications.

(C)  Payment of the tap fee when the construction requires a building permit shall be made no earlier than the date of approval of building permit and no later than the date upon which the water meter is installed.  Payment of the reclaimed/non-potable water tap fee for an irrigation system, or for any other installation or construction not requiring issuance of a building permit, shall be at the time of the utility permit application.  The amount of such fee shall be calculated according to the city's service commitment calculation formulas and the fee schedule in effect at the time payment is made.

(D)  For existing facilities, which do not require a certificate of occupancy, and that have an existing irrigation tap or use an existing tap for irrigation purposes, a utility permit will be required but will have no additional tap fee charged if the taps are the same size, when the existing potable connection is exchanged for a reclaimed/non-potable water connection. Prior to A reclaimed/non-potable water meter being installed, the existing potable water tap must be abandoned in accordance with applicable city standards and specifications.

(E)  Where any unit currently having a reclaimed/non-potable water tap is demolished, and a building permit for reconstruction purposes is issued and no change in water use is anticipated within one year of the date of demolition, no new tap fee shall be required and the new unit shall be regarded as being served by the tap in service prior to demolition of the unit.   Failure to satisfy the above criteria shall constitute an abandonment of the reclaimed/non-potable water tap and the service commitments.  Any subsequent construction shall be done in conformance with the city code of the City of Westminster.  Any modification of the irrigated area over 500 square feet from the most recent Official Development Plan (ODP) landscaped area totals or from the existing landscape if no ODP exists that would result in the calculated increased requirement of irrigation water may result in the imposition of additional irrigation tap fees..

(F)  Where any reclaimed/non-potable water tap registers no use and for which payment of the monthly meter charge has not been made for more than thirty-six (36) consecutive months, it shall constitute an abandonment of the water tap and service commitments and the meter shall be removed by the city.  Any subsequent occupation of that unit shall be done in conformance with the City Code of the City of Westminster and shall require a new utility permit application and payment of the applicable tap fee.
8-12-5:  TAP FEE CALCULATION: (2767 3134 3683)

(A)  The reclaimed/non-potable water tap applicant will submit plans:

  1. identifying the proposed irrigated area 
  2. the total square footage/acreage per water use category
  3. proposed landscape plan and
  4. an irrigation plan signed by a professional irrigation system designer.
  5. for specific landscape and irrigation system requirements refer to the City of Westminster landscape regulations.
  6. for a listing of landscape materials suitable/approved for use in non-potable irrigated areas contact City of Westminster water resource staff

This information will be used to calculate a projected water demand for the purpose of determining the equivalent reclaimed/non-potable tap size.  The applicant shall then pay 80% of the potable water tap fees set forth in 8-7-3, water tap fee, the total of which shall be known as the reclaimed/non-potable water tap fee, which shall be paid upon issuance of the utility permit or as otherwise required by section 8-12-2.

(B)  Provision of materials and work: for all reclaimed/non-potable water taps, the applicant shall furnish all labor and work, and all materials as specified.  See City of Westminster "Standards and Specifications for the Design and Construction of Public Improvements" for details.  The city shall provide the applicant with a list of required materials and approved suppliers, at the time of application.

8-12-6:  SPECIFICATIONS:  (2767 3134)

(A)  The City will specify all materials that the applicant is to furnish pursuant to adopted city standards and specifications. Reclaimed/non-potable water use will be metered through a single vault for each customer site.  Meter vaults shall be located only within public rights of way, public easements, or city easements.  Location and grade shall be subject to approval of the city.  Once installed and approved, all reclaimed /non-potable metering equipment becomes the property of the city.

(B)  Authorization to install any tap or meter may be withheld by the city if the applicant is in arrears for any current water account for that property, is in violation of any law of the city or state and federal regulations or in default in any agreement with the city.  It shall be unlawful to use, or permit to be used, any non-potable water tap installation until the meter has been approved or set by the city, unless specific written authorization has been granted by the City. 

(C)  Each reclaimed/non-potable water tap shall be assigned a service address and billing account in the name of the property owner or manager.

(D)  Any modification of the irrigated area over 500 square feet from the most recent Official Development Plan (ODP) landscaped area totals or from the existing landscape if no ODP exists that would result in the calculated increased requirement of irrigation water may result in the imposition of additional irrigation tap fees

(E)  All reclaimed/non-potable water piping and appurtenances shall be clearly identified as non-potable water facilities.

  1. Reclaimed/non-potable water service pipe and tubing shall be purple (pantone purple 522c) or identified with a purple stripe with the words non-potable or reclaimed water at 8-inch intervals.  All irrigation boxes, control valves, appurtenances, and sprinkler heads shall be constructed of purple materials and labeled as non-potable water.
  2. Covers for all valve boxes, meter and service boxes, and other below ground devices shall be painted purple and/or shall be permanently embossed "non-potable water" or "reclaimed water."      
  1. The public shall be notified of the use of reclaimed water by posting advisory signs designating the nature of the water use either non-potable or reclaimed. 
    1. Signage shall be placed, as appropriate, at entrances to residential neighborhoods where reclaimed/non-potable water is used, and at prominent locations at all commercial sites, including multi-family developments, office parks, schools, churches, recreational developments, and golf courses. 
    2. Notification for golf courses shall include notification at entrance and the first and tenth tees as well as notes on scorecards.
    3. Advisory signs shall be posted adjacent to lakes or ponds used to store reclaimed/non-potable water.  

(F)  Cross Connection Control.  All customers receiving reclaimed/non-potable water will be required to install a reduced pressure principal type backflow prevention device downstream of the non-potable water meter.  No cross connection between the non-potable system and the potable water system shall be allowed.

(G)  All construction shall be in compliance with American Water Works Association (AWWA) manual of water supply practices for dual water systems M-24, and all applicable city specifications.

8-12-7:  WATER RATE SCHEDULE:  (2767 3134)

(A)  All non-potable water delivered from the city's reclaimed/non-potable water system shall be metered, and the charge therefore shall be set at 80% of the existing commercial potable water rates as set forth in 8-7-9.

(B) Continuance of customer charges: monthly customer charges shall be assessed in all cases during the irrigation season including where no water is consumed until such time as city personnel are specifically requested to discontinue reclaimed/non-potable water service at the meter.  Monthly customer charges will not be assessed in the months when reclaimed /non-potable water is not available for delivery from the system.

8-12-8:  COMPUTATION OF RATE:  (2767 3134 3683)

(A)  The schedule of water rates set forth in Section 8-7-7. W.M.C., shall be applied to reclaimed water used or consumed as determined by the water meter readings obtained by the City, at eighty percent (80%) of the applicable potable water rate.

(B)  Reclaimed/non-potable water meters are to be read to the last full thousand (1,000) gallons counted.  Any meter reading containing a portion of one thousand (1,000) gallons shall be rounded down to the nearest one thousand (1,000) gallons.

(C)  Tests of reclaimed/non-potable water meters, by customer request, will be performed at actual cost.  This fee will be waived if the meter is over-registering.  If the meter is over-registering, the customer will receive a credit for excess charges on the prior twelve (12) months consumption.  If city records indicate a meter change or accuracy test during the twelve (12) months, the credit will apply from the date of the meter change or test.


(A) The City shall have all remedies available as described in 8-7-7.

8-12-10:  TAMPERING OR A BYPASS PROHIBITED:  (2767 3134)

(A)  It shall be unlawful for any person to tamper with any meter or to install or use any bypass or other device whereby water may be drawn from a service pipe without being registered by the meter.

(B)  All meters shall be kept in good repair by the city, and shall be and remain the property of the city and under its control.  No meter shall be set so that there shall be more than two feet (2') of exposed unmetered service pipe.

8-12-11:  DUTY OF USER:  (2767 3134)

(A)  All reclaimed/non-potable water meter vaults shall be placed and maintained so that the vaults are readily accessible to utility personnel, away from trees and bushes and outside of fences.

(B)  No person owning or possessing or controlling the property on which a reclaimed/non-potable water meter vault is located shall obstruct the vault in any manner so that access to the meter is prevented.  If such obstruction is not removed within the period of time prescribed in the notice required in subsection (F) below, the owner or possessor shall be deemed to have consented to the city's entry onto the property for the purpose of removing the obstruction and gaining access to the meter.  All costs incurred in the removal of the obstruction shall be charged to the water consumer, owner or possessor as prescribed in subsection (G).

(C)  No person owning or possessing or controlling the property on which a reclaimed/non-potable water meter pit is located shall fail to maintain landscaping around the meter pit to provide at least three feet (3') of unobstructed access to the meter from the public right of way and at least five feet (5') of vertical clearance above the meter pit.

(D)  No person owning or possessing or controlling the property on which a reclaimed/non-potable water meter pit is located shall place a fence in such location that the fence will obstruct access to the meter pit from the public right of way.

(E)  No person owning or possessing or controlling the property on which a reclaimed/non-potable water meter pit is located shall fail to assure that landscape materials taller than four inches  (4") are no closer than six inches (6") to the meter pit nor shall any such person allow any landscaping material to cover any part of the meter pit lid.

(F)  If the City Manager or his designee finds that any person has failed to comply with any of the requirements of subsections (B), (C), (D), (E), of this section, the City shall notify the reclaimed/non-potable water consumer, owner or possessor or controller of the property by hand delivery or certified mail that he shall be required to comply within fifteen (15) days of the date of delivering or mailing the notice.

(G)  If the person so notified fails to comply with the requirements of the notice, the City may cause the work to be done and charge the costs thereof, together with an amount of fifty dollars ($50.00) for administrative costs, to the person so notified.   Such costs shall be added to the charges for water service, and failure to pay such cost shall warrant and authorize the city in shutting off the water.

(H)  All users of reclaimed water will be required to submit a certification statement signed by the user or legal representative of the user, that it has been provided with a copy of the state regulations and has agreed to comply with the applicable requirements of the regulations, in particular the conditions for application of reclaimed water meeting unrestricted use standards, and to allow access to the site to perform monitoring and analysis, as required by the Colorado Department of Public Heath and Environment.
(I)  All reclaimed/non-potable water users will have clearly visible signage posted on the site which calls attention to the fact that the water is not safe for human consumption.  Wording used will be, or similar to, "Non-Potable Water - Do Not Drink."  The signage shall be posted in the dominant language(s) expected to be spoken at the site. 

(J)  Irrigation Control. User shall control the use of reclaimed/non-potable water to those areas indicated in the permit application.  The owner, applicant, or user is responsible for controlling over spray run off on new systems for systems requesting conversion 

  1. Irrigation shall be controlled to minimize ponding and runoff of reclaimed/non-potable water.
  2. Direct and windblown spray shall be confined to the area designated and approved for reclaimed/non-potable water irrigation, to the extent possible.
  3. Precautions shall be taken so that reclaimed/non-potable water is not sprayed on any facility or area not designated for reclaimed/non-potable water irrigation, such as passing vehicles, fences, buildings, potable water fountains and other dispensers, or food handling areas.
  4. Reclaimed/non-potable irrigation systems shall be configured and secured in a manner that only permits operation by authorized personnel.
  5. There shall be no hose bib connections accessible to the public at any existing or new piping connected to the reclaimed/non-potable water system.
  6. There shall be no spraying of reclaimed/non-potable water over outdoor drinking water fountains in public areas. 
  7. There shall be no connection between the potable water supply and any piping containing reclaimed/non-potable water.  Supplementing reclaimed/non-potable water with potable water shall not be allowed except through an air-gap separation.  Reclaimed/non-potable water supplementation with potable water is only available for "pond storage" customers with an air-gap separation.  For reclaimed/non-potable customers, there shall be no connection whatsoever between a temporary or supplemental system and the reclaimed/non-potable system, either upstream or downstream of the point of delivery, at any time.
  8. Tank trucks and other equipment which are used to distribute reclaimed/non-potable water shall be clearly identified with warning signs.
  9. Adequate measures shall be taken to prevent the breeding of insects and other vectors of health significance. 
  10. For all non-potable systems, the user shall maintain as-built plans and provide a copy to the City of the use area showing all buildings, potable and reclaimed/non-potable water facilities, the sanitary wastewater collection system, etc.
  11. Inspection, supervision, and employee training should be provided by the user to assure proper operation of the reclaimed/non-potable water system in accordance with Colorado Department of Health and Environment Regulations.

8-12-12: USING WATER FROM ANOTHER CONNECTION PROHIBITED:  (2767 3134)   It shall be unlawful for any consumer to permit reclaimed/non-potable water to be taken through his service pipe for the use of any person whose premises are not connected for the use of reclaimed/non-potable water from the city's mains.

8-12-13: CREDIT FOR OVERCHARGE:  (2767 3134)  The City Finance Director or Finance staff may give credit to any utility customer that has been overcharged.  The credit must not exceed the intent of this ordinance. 

8-12-14: WATER SHORTAGE OR DROUGHT: (2767 3134)   In the event of a water shortage or drought emergency that requires the reduction of the use of water from the reclaimed/non-potable water utility, the City Manager shall have the authority to immediately require and implement mandatory reductions as he deems necessary for the protection of the public as described in section 8-7-24. Such reductions or water restrictions shall be in effect until such time as the City Council or the City Manager removes them.  In the event of a prolonged drought or other water shortage emergency that may require water restrictions or limitations for more than fifteen  (15) days, the City Council may adopt, by resolution, a long term water conservation plan as described in section 8-7-24.
8-12-15: WATER TAP FEE CREDITS:  (2767 3134)

(A)  If a parcel of land has an existing water tap in service and the owner proposes to change the irrigation portion of the water use to reclaimed/non-potable water, then no additional tap fee will be charged for connection to the reclaimed/non-potable water system.

(B)  If any tap is installed and completed without receiving proper inspection and approval by the City, no tap fee credit shall be given.

(C)  ABANDONMENT.  If a demolition or vacation of a unit results in an abandonment of a reclaimed/non-potable water tap, no cash refund shall be granted for any taps released from service, and no tap fee credit shall be granted at the time a new utility permit is issued.

8-12-16:  WASTE OF WATER    (3134)

(A) Waste of water is prohibited.  Waste of water is defined as the intentional or non-intentional use of water for a non-beneficial purpose, and includes continuous application of water to any lawn, turf, sodded, or landscaped area resulting in the pooling or flowing of water into drainage or storm drainage facilities, failure to repair any irrigation system that is leaking, and the use of hoses for washing of vehicles and other outdoor uses other than irrigation, not equipped with a shutoff valve that is normally closed and necessitates hand pressure on the valve to permit the flow of water.
Notwithstanding the enforcement provisions set forth in this section, the City Manager, or his designee, may order a shut off of the reclaimed/non-potable water service to a property if the City Manager, or his designee, reasonably finds that an extreme waste of water is occurring on the premises.

(B) The Director of Public Works and Utilities is hereby authorized to enforce this section.  The person billed for water service to a property, whether owner or occupant, shall be responsible for compliance with section (A) and (B), within 10 days of the violation notice, unless otherwise specified by the Director of Public Works and Utilities, and shall be subject to the following actions and penalties:

  1. Upon a first violation, the person billed will be advised in writing of the violation and issued a warning for the violation.  The warning shall be in effect for a period of one (1) year from the date of issue.
  2. A second violation within a one (1) year period shall result in the person billed being advised in writing of the violation and a charge of $50.00 will be added to the water bill for the property.  Advisement shall include the procedure to schedule a hearing if requested.
  3. A third or additional violation within a one (1) year period shall result in the person billed being advised in writing of the violation and a charge of $100.00 will be added to the water bill for the property.  Advisement shall include the procedure to schedule a hearing if requested.  In addition, the city manager, or his designee, may order a suspension of service to the property until all outstanding fines are paid.  Restoration of service shall occur as detailed in 8-7-9.
  4. Upon any notice(s) of violation of this section, a copy of such notice shall also be mailed to the owner(s) of the real property served, if the owner's address differs from the subject property address.

(C)  If a hearing is requested it shall be scheduled as soon as practical before the City Manager or his designee.