Commission will discuss ‘green plumbing’ code changes (VIDEO)

Green plumbing is up for discussion at Thursday’s Hays City Commission work session.

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According to Assistant City Manager Paul Briseno, city staff is recommending the adoption of new plumbing standards designed to conserve water, requiring all fixtures in new construction and remodels to be at least 20 percent more efficient than federal standards:

“In reviewing usage records, it was found that newer properties have much higher water usage than existing properties. Staff believes this is primarily driven by larger and more water-needy landscaping than the average property in town,” according to a memo to commissioners by city staff. “At the same time, there is no code to ensure that inside uses of water are as efficient as they can be.”

The city brought the proposed changes to three meetings of the Building and Trade Board for discussion, which offered revisions from a contractor standpoint.

In the midst of a water shortage, the staff said “this is one of the most important, cheapest and easiest changes the city can make for long-term water security for the city of Hays.”

The city recently declared a Stage 2 water warning, which will tighten restrictions on outside watering and block new connections to the potable water system for irrigation purposes.

Most of the water-conserving measures are considered “cost-neutral” for builders, although improvements for irrigations systems — including sensors, controller and spray head requirements — would cost approximately $500 more per system.

City commissioners will discuss the regulation changes for placement on a future regular session agenda.