Is it legal to discharge greywater to the exterior grounds in Illinois?

Any of my Illinois inspectors know if it is illegal to dump greywater on the exterior grounds? The house is in a rural area and the homeowner is discharging the washing machine to a ditch in front of the home rather than tying into the septic system. I checked the IDPH and did not get a clear answer, I have also spoke with plumbers and septic professionals and their answers are all over the board. I have ran into this in the past in the city and called it out because of the greaywater mixing with the surface water that will most likely be collected and treated. Another concern is when disposing in this manner is there a proper variance between the well and the greywater which could contaminate the potable water. Thank you in advance for your comments.

Best regards,
Zach Richards

Yes, you can but what Illinois says matters.

I believed the IPC says yes but ill have to look later.

I think Ohio deleted the chapter since its not in the 2017 OPC.
Private water supplies and recycled water systems are regulated by the Ohio Department of Health rules found in Chapter 3701-28 of the Administrative Code.
You may have a law like that

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Contact your authority in the local jurisdiction. Illinois has a state plumbing code, Chicago has their own plumbing code, each county varies, each city varies.

If you don’t get an answer you like contact one of the half a dozen or so head state plumbing inspectors.

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Perhaps a dry well will do?
If you put the washer soap rinse into the septic system it can kill the bacteria that aids to break down stuff.

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From the IPC 2015

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Do what Martin said, contact the Local code authority. In my experience most municipalities do not allow it. Some very rural (county) areas still do.

And I’m in Illinois, not Ohio. :wink:


States that have their own a plumbing codes like to use the IPC as toilet paper. Illinois plumbing codes will vary just crossing the street. I built a home with lead and oakum DWV in Palatine Illinois. The home down the street had cast iron underground and PVC DWV above ground. One was in city limits the other fell into the county.

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Thank you for all of your comments

Waiting on a call back from the county plumbing inspector. I always enjoy learning and doing research on these situations that come around once in a great while. I appreciate everyone’s response and hopefully this will be helpful for other inspectors in the future.