Home\California Water Resources Control Green-Lights Recycled Water as Drinking Water

California Water Resources Control Green-Lights Recycled Water as Drinking Water

Date: January 03, 2017

A report released December 29 by the State Water Resources Control Board concludes that it is feasible to develop and adopt regulations for using recycled water as drinking water, provided that certain research and key knowledge gaps are addressed.

Direct potable reuse (DPR) is the addition of recycled water directly into a drinking water system or into a raw water supply immediately upstream of a drinking water treatment plant. No other state has yet developed regulations specifically for direct potable reuse.

Senate Bill 918 (Pavley, 2010) and SB 322 (Hueso, 2013) directed the State Water Board to investigate the feasibility of creating regulations for direct potable reuse. The legislation created an Expert Panel and Advisory Group to assist the staff of the State Water Board’s Division of Drinking Water to investigate the feasibility of creating regulations. WateReuse California and the Water Environment & Reuse Foundation partnered on a research and education initiative to support the work of the Expert Panel and Advisory Group.

A draft report was issued on Sept. 8, followed by a 45-day public comment period. The Division of Drinking Water reviewed the comments and presented them to the Board at its meeting on Dec. 6. No major changes were made to the report.

The final report lays the groundwork for creating regulations for a new and reliable source of potable water. But the adoption of regulations related to the direct potable reuse of recycled water will not take place until the knowledge gaps are addressed and additional research is conducted related to specific public health issues.

For more information about the report and its recommendations, visit the CA State Water Resources Control Board’s website.

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