Plumbing code has a lot to do with the environment.
Plumbing code determines how water can be brought into a building and how waste can be removed. The main way that the environment is affected by plumbing code is in the way waste is removed. Plumbing code defines the different types of waste and what is needed to remove it without hurting the environment.
Gray water waste, which includes water from your sink, washing machine, shower and bathtub can be reused to water your landscape. It is the safest of the waste coming from plumbing. However, there are other wastes that cannot be reused.
Black water waste, which includes pretty much anything from your toilet, cannot be reused without being refined. At this stage, code requires that this water either goes into a sewer system or a septic tank. When put into septic tanks, code requires certain precautions to prevent the waste from causing damage the the surrounding area. For instance, the septic tank must be placed in an area so that it will not contaminate an underground well or other water source like a lake or river.
In the link below, which is the 2006 National Standard Plumbing Code, see chapters 9, 11 & 16 as well as appendix G.
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