Onsite Non-potable Water Systems build upon years of research and collaboration by leading water utilities, public health officials, and national research foundations. The materials below include resources to support local implementation of onsite non-potable water reuse programs. Check back for updates and publications from the commission.
Onsite Water Recycling E-Book
This e-book, full of stories, projects, and lessons-learned from across the world is designed to inspire utilities and government leaders to consider onsite water treatment systems as an effective strategy in their long-term water resource and resilience planning.
National Blue Ribbon Commission Fact Sheet
A four-page fact sheet discussing the role and activities of the national Blue Ribbon Commission (NBRC) for Onsite Non-potable water systems, relevant regulations across the United States, and more.
Program Guide: Financing Decentralized Wastewater Treatment Systems
The EPA’s 2022 guidebook is designed to help state staff better align and integrate their state’s Clean Water State Revolving Funds (CWSRF) and onsite/decentralized wastewater programs. The guide details how communities can use CWSRFs to finance decentralized system projects, options for loan repayment, and best practices for successful projects.
NEW: Health Risk-based Benchmarks for Onsite Treatment of Water
A 2023 report outlining the current state of the science for determining the level of treatment required for onsite non-potable water reuse systems, including four different approaches for achieving a health benchmark.
- Onsite-Non Potable Water Systems Guidance Manual
- Making the Utility Case for Onsite Non-potable Water Systems
- Blueprint for Onsite Water Systems: A Step-by-Step Guide for Developing a Local Program to Manage Onsite Water Systems
- Assessing the Microbial Risks and Impacts from Stormwater Capture and Use to Establish Appropriate Best Management Practices (WRF 5034)
- Institutional Complexity: Navigating Diverse Perspectives in the Adoption of On-site Water Reuse
- Conceptualizing Equity for Onsite Non-Potable Water Reuse Systems in the U.S.
- Characterizing Non-Technical Barriers for Onsite Alternative Water Systems
Public Health Guidance
Tools for Developing Regulations, Ordinances, and Rules
- A Guidebook for Developing and Implementing Regulations for Onsite Non-potable Water Systems
- Model State Regulation for Onsite Non-potable Water Programs
- Model Local Ordinance for Onsite Non-potable Water Programs
- Model Program Rules for Onsite Non-potable Water Programs
- Technical Appendix: A Guidebook for Developing and Implementing Regulations for ONWS
Regulations, Guidelines, and Legislation
- California: In September 2018, California signed into law Senate Bill 966, which directs the State Water Resources Control Board to establish risk-based water quality standards for onsite non-potable water systems. The SFPUC collaborated with Senator Scott Wiener to develop the legislation. The work that’s been accomplished to date by the National Blue Ribbon Commission will support the state’s development of the risk-based water quality standards.
- San Francisco Department of Public Health: Rule and Regulations for Alternative Water Source Systems
- Colorado: In August 2018, Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment updated Regulation #84, which regulates reclaimed water use, to allow localized nonpotable water systems to treat onsite wastewater for toilet flushing and irrigation. Colorado adopted a risk-based water quality approach for localized water reuse systems.
- Hawaii: Hawaii passed legislation House Bill 444 in 2019 directing the Hawaii Department of Health to adopt a localized set of rules for onsite non-potable water systems with guidance from the National Blue Ribbon Commission.
- Minnesota: Minnesota Department of Public Health has moved forward with guidance for onsite non-potable water systems. A report was published in March 2018 Advancing Safe and Sustainable Water Reuse in Minnesota. Recommendations from Minnesota’s report include adopting the risk-based water quality approach.
- Washington: In 2021, House Bill 1184 was passed and signed into law. The legislation directs the Washington Department of Health to develop state-wide risk-based water quality standards for the use of onsite non-potable water reuse systems in commercial and multi-family buildings
Local, State, and Federal Programs
- Austin Water: Onsite Water Reuse System
- National Water Reuse Action Plan: Action 3.4 Develop Research and Tools to Support Onsite Non-Potable Water Reuse Systems
- New York City Department of Environmental Protection: Water Conservation & Reuse Grants
- Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment: On-site wastewater treatment systems
- San Francisco Public Utilities Commission: Non-potable Water Program
- National Water Reuse Action Plan: Action 2.18 Incorporate Onsite Reuse Research into Codes and Standards for Premise Plumbing
Publications and Presentations
- WateReuse webcast: Breaking Down Implementation Barriers for Onsite Non-Potable Water Systems
- WateReuse webcast: Advancing Onsite Water Reuse and Lessons Learned
- Case Studies of San Francisco Non-potable Water Projects
- Case Studies of Innovative Water Reuse and Resource Recovery Projects
- Case Studies of Water Recycling Projects Around the World