NEW REQUIREMENTS FOR HIGH EFFICIENCY PLUMBING
Effective on July 1, 2012)
for high efficiency plumbing fixtures. On or after July 1, 2012, in
accordance with O.C.G.A. Section 8-2-3(a), the installation of high efficiency plumbing
fixtures are required in all new construction. This includes both residential
and commercial installations. Note: The requirements for high efficiency
plumbing fixtures resulted from Senate Bill 370 which was enacted into State
law in July 2010 with a delayed effective date of July 1, 2012.
of High Efficiency Plumbing Fixtures:
flush water closet. A single flush water closet or toilet, including
gravity, pressure assisted, and electro-hydraulic tank types, which the average
flush volume does not exceed 1.28 gallons and is listed to the WaterSense
Tank-Type High Efficiency Toilet Specification. Single flush toilets shall also
comply with the flush volume testing requirements of ASME A112.192/CSA
B45.1-2008 or ASME A112.19.14-2006.
flush water closet. A dual flush water closet or toilet which the average
flush volume of two reduced flushes and one full flush does not exceed 1.28
gallons and is listed to the WaterSense Tank-Type High Efficiency Toilet
Specification. Dual-flush toilets shall comply with the flush volume testing
requirements of ASME A112.19.2-2008 and ASME A112.19.14-2006.
A urinal and associated flush valve that uses no more than 0.5 gallons of
water per flush and is listed to the WaterSense Specification for Flushing
Urinals. Urinals shall also comply with the flush volume testing requirements
of ASME A112.19.2/CSA 45.1.
urinal. A urinal that discharges into the sanitary drainage system but is
not supplied by a water distribution system. Non-water urinals shall conform to
ASME A112.19.3 CSA/ B45.4 or A112.19.19/CSA B45. Note: Nonwater urinals are not
required to be WaterSense listed.
faucet or lavatory replacement aerator. A lavatory faucet or lavatory
replacement aerator that allows a flow of no more than 1.5 gallons per minute
at a pressure of 60 pounds per square inch and is listed to the WaterSense
faucet or kitchen faucet replacement aerator. A kitchen faucet or kitchen
replacement aerator that allows a flow of no more than 2.0 gallons of water per
minute. Note: Kitchen faucets or kitchen faucet replacement aerators are not
required to be WaterSense listed.
head. A shower head that allows a flow of no more than the average of 2.5
gallons of water per minute at 60 pounds per square inch of pressure. Note:
Shower heads are not required to be WaterSense listed.
A program of the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
designed to identify and promote water efficient products and practices.
3. Requirements for flushometer valves and tanks. On or after July 1, 2012, flushometer valves and flushometer tanks
for commercial type toilets or water closets shall have an average flush volume
that does not exceed 1.28 gallons. Flushometer valves are not required to be
WaterSense listed. However, Flushometer (pressure assist) toilets or water
closet tanks must be listed to the WaterSense Tank-Type High Efficiency Toilet
of non-high efficiency toilets or water closets. After July 1, 2011, in
accordance with O.C.G.A. 8-2-3(j), the sale of a gravity tank type, flushometer
valve or flushometer tank toilet or water closet that uses more than an average
of 1.28 gallons of water per flush is prohibited in Georgia.
Efficiency Cooling Towers. On or after July 1, 2012, high efficiency
cooling towers are required in all new construction (commercial use). A cooling
tower means a building heat removal device. Cooling towers shall comply with
ASHRAE 90.1-2007 as adopted and amended by the Department.
for exemption to the requirements of high efficiency plumbing fixtures. On
or after July 1, 2012, in accordance with O.C.G.A. Section 8-2-3, counties and
municipalities are permitted to adopt an ordinance which shall provide
procedures and requirements to apply for an exemption to the requirements of
subsection (c) of this Code section, relative to new construction and to the
repair or renovation of an existing building, under the following conditions:
When the repair or renovation of the existing building does not include the
replacement of the plumbing or sewage system servicing toilets, faucets, or
shower heads within such existing building;
When such plumbing or sewer system within such existing building, because of
its capacity, design, or installation, would not function properly if the
toilets, faucets, or shower heads required were installed;
When such system is a well or gravity flow from a spring and is owned privately
by an individual for use in such individual’s personal residence; or
4) When units to be installed
are: a. Specifically designed for use by person with disabilities; b.
Specifically designed to withstand unusual abuse or installation in a penal
institution; or c. Toilets for juveniles
DCA amended the State Minimum
Standard Plumbing Code (2006 IPC) to include the SB 370 new requirements for
high efficiency plumbing fixtures and cooling towers. If you have any questions
or need further assistance, please contact DCA Construction Codes Office at
404-679-3118 or email@example.com
Construction Codes Program
Construction Codes Program and Code Adoption Process
uniform construction codes are designed to help protect the life, health, and
property of all Georgians from faulty design and construction of houses, buildings,
and similar structures. Georgia
codes are based on national model codes adopted by the International Codes
Council (ICC) through a consensus process, www.iccsafe.org.
All 50 states adopt the IBC (International Building Code)
and the IRC (International Residential Code) and the NEC (National Electric
Code) as do many other countries. The number drops to 45 – 48 states on some of
the other codes, like plumbing, mechanical, etc. With the help of the federal stimulus
funds, 48 states have or are in the process of adopting the 2009 IECC
(International Energy Conservation Code) or its equivalent. 10 states are in
the process of adopting the 2012 IECC.
States are not all on the same edition of the code at the
same time. They may have different timelines and different procedures for
adoption. Some don’t have automatic statewide applicability. Others have more
control and don’t allow for local amendments. There are a lot of variables but
the base is very similar.
Georgia law, O.C.G.A. Section 8-2-20(9)(B) identifies ten “state
minimum standard codes”. Each of these separate codes typically consists of a
base code (e.g. The International Residential Code (IRC) as published by ICC)
and a set of Georgia
amendments to the base code. Georgia
law further dictates that eight of these codes are "mandatory" and are
applicable to all construction whether or not they are locally enforced and two
are "permissive" and are only applicable if a local government
chooses to adopt and enforce one or more of these codes.
Construction Codes for 2012
2006 International Fuel Gas Code*
2006 International Mechanical Code*
2006 International Plumbing Code*
2011 National Electrical Code
2006 International Fire Code*
2009 International Energy Conservation Code*
2006 International Residential Code*
2006 International Property Maintenance Code*
2006 International Existing
2008 National Green
Local enforcement of these codes is authorized by the
Uniform Codes Act, which states in part:
The governing authority of any municipality or county
in this state is authorized to enforce and/or adopt and enforce the state
minimum standard codes; to provide for the local administration of such codes;
to require building permits and fix charges therefor, see OCGA 8-2-26(a)(4), to
provide for inspection of buildings or similar structures to ensure compliance with
the state minimum standard codes; to provide inspection and enforcement
personnel and services necessary to ensure compliance with the codes; and
provide for penalties for noncompliance with such codes. In addition, OCGA
8-2-23(2) states that revisions to the Energy Code shall be not become
effective without the approval of the Division of Energy Resources of the
Georgia Environmental Finance Authority (GEFA).
New editions of the national model codes are reviewed,
amended, and revised as necessary by the Georgia Department of Community
Affairs (DCA) through the State Codes Advisory Committee (SCAC) with the
approval of the Board of Community Affairs. Code amendments may be initiated by
the department or upon recommendation from any citizen, profession, state
agency, political subdivision of the state, or the codes advisory committee
which is authorized by the Uniform Codes Act. Proposed amendments to existing
codes should be submitted to the Department by December 15 for consideration by
the SCAC the following year.
New provisions and amendments or modifications of the
state construction code requirements go into effect after approval by the Board
of Community Affairs upon filing with the Secretary of State in accordance with
the Administrative Procedures Act. The approval of the State Codes Advisory
Committee must be obtained before the proposed changes can be submitted to the
Board of Community Affairs.
The State Codes Advisory Committee
The State Codes Advisory Committee (SCAC) is established
by O.C.G.A 8.2.24 and plays a major role in the development and review of state
construction codes. The committee is made up of 21 members who are experts in
the various codes and who are chosen to represent the diverse interests of citizens,
builders, engineers, designers, and other groups. (see attached list). Tim
Williams, HBAG Past President, is the 2012-2013 Chairman.
The Georgia Safety Fire Commissioner and the Commissioner
of the Department of Human Resources, or their designees, are ex officio
members of the advisory committee. The remaining members are appointed by the
Commissioner of DCA.
The State Codes Advisory Committee (SCAC) uses task forces
to assist in the review of new codes or amendments to existing codes. A task
force is made up of experts in its particular field, such as building,
mechanical, plumbing, electrical, gas, housing, fire prevention, or energy.
Staff support for these task forces is provided by the Codes and Industrialized
Buildings Section of DCA. While the SCAC is very concerned about the safety of Georgia
citizens, economic costs are taken into consideration and weighed against
of State Codes
As noted above, the building,
residential, fire, plumbing, mechanical, gas, electrical and energy codes are
mandatory codes, meaning that under Georgia
law, any structure built in Georgia
must comply with these codes, whether or not the local government chooses to
locally enforce these codes.
In addition, since Georgia law gives these codes
statewide applicability, local governments should not adopt the mandatory codes
themselves. Local governments must, however, adopt administrative
procedures in order to enforce them (O.C.G.A. Section 8-2-25(a)). However, the
local government can choose which of the mandatory codes it wishes to locally
The remaining codes are referred to
as permissive codes. Unlike the mandatory codes, in order for a local
government to enforce one or more of these permissive codes, that code or codes
must be adopted, either by ordinance or resolution, by the local jurisdiction.
A copy of the ordinance or resolution adopted must be forwarded to DCA per O.C.G.A. Section 8-2-25 (b).
Enforcement of the State Minimum Standard Codes
In order to properly administer and
enforce the state minimum standard codes, local governments must adopt
reasonable administrative provisions. The power to adopt these administrative
procedures is set forth in O.C.G.A. Section 8-2-26(a)(1). These provisions
should include procedural requirements for the enforcement of the codes,
provisions for hearings, provisions for appeals from decisions of local
inspectors, and any other procedures necessary for the proper local
administration and enforcement of the state minimum standard codes. These
- Inspecting buildings and
other structures to ensure compliance with the code;
- Employing inspectors and
other personnel necessary for the proper enforcement of codes;
- Requiring permits and to
establishment charges for said permits; and
- Contracting with other
local governments for code enforcement.
DCA periodically reviews, amends
and/or updates the state minimum standard codes. If a local government chooses
to locally enforce any of these codes, it must enforce the latest editions and the
amendments adopted by DCA.
DCA has developed a sample
resolution/ordinance that may be used as a guide for local governments in the
development of their administrative procedures.
It should be noted that The Uniform
Codes Act states that the appendices of the codes are not enforceable unless
referenced in the body of the code, adopted by DCA, or specifically adopted by
a municipality or county. If any appendices have been adopted by DCA, they will
be noted in the Georgia
amendments to the base code.
The Uniform Codes Act provides that
local governments may, under certain conditions, adopt local amendments to the
state minimum standard codes. DCA does not approve or disapprove any local
amendment. The department provides a recommendation only. However, in order to
enforce any local amendment, the local government must submit the proposed
amendment to DCA for review (O.C.G.A. Section 8-2-25(c)).
There are several requirements local
governments must meet in order to enact a local code amendment. These
requirements are as follows:
- The requirements in the
proposed local amendment cannot be less stringent than the requirements in
the state minimum standard code;
- The local requirements must
be based on local climatic, geologic, topographic, or public safety
- The legislative findings of
the local governing body must identify the need for the more stringent
- The local government must
submit the proposed amendment to DCA 60 days prior to the proposed
adoption of such an amendment.
After submittal of the proposed
local amendment, DCA has 60 days in which to forward its recommendations to the
local government. DCA may respond in three ways: recommend adoption of the
amendment, recommend the amendment not be adopted, or have no comment on the
proposal. If DCA recommends against the adoption of the proposed amendment, the
local governing body must vote specifically to reject DCA's recommendation
before the local amendment can be adopted and enforced. If DCA fails to respond
within the 60-day timeframe, the local government may adopt the proposed local
After adoption by the local
governing authority, copies of local amendments must be filed with DCA. The
local government is also required to post notices of local amendments.
Information and Assistance
To request additional information on Georgia’s construction codes,
training programs for local code enforcement officials, or technical assistance,
Department of Community
Codes and Industrialized Buildings Section
60 Executive Park South, NE
Telephone: 404-679-3118 Fax: 404-679-0646