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California Adopts Regulations for Surface Water Augmentation

Date: March 08, 2018

The California State Water Resources Board adopted new regulations on Tuesday, March 6 to ensure the safe use of purified recycled when used to augment surface water supplies. The new regulations set requirements for the quality of treated recycled water that can be added to a surface water reservoir that is used as source of drinking water. The regulations also specify the percentage of recycled water that can be added and how long it must reside there before being treated again at a drinking water treatment facility.

WateReuse California and members Padre Dam Municipal Water District and San Diego County Water Authority testified in support of the regulation. There was no opposition.

Adoption of the regulation went through a public process of review and comment over two years, including an independent scientific review and guidance by an Expert Panel created in 2014 to assist the State Water Board in developing regulations for recycled water. The panel determined the surface water regulations adequately protect public health.

In 2014, the State Water Board set requirements for using treated recycled water to recharge groundwater. The same year the board adopted statewide rules for outdoor uses of recycled water and for irrigating crops. The State Water Board is also working on regulations for direct potable reuse that are expected by 2023.

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