34th Annual WateReuse Symposium to Highlight Technology Innovation, Register Today
Nominations Due May 6 for the Annual WateReuse Awards for Excellence
EPA Opens Comment Period for Water Reuse Action Plan, WateReuse Initiates Member Survey
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced last week that it is seeking public input on the development of an action plan to accelerate water reuse nationwide. To facilitate input, EPA also released a Discussion Framework for Development of a Draft Water Reuse Action Plan, which provides background, context, and details on elements the Water Reuse Action Plan could address. EPA will accept public comments through July 1, 2019 online (search for Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OW-2019-0174). The WateReuse Association is leading an effort to develop recommendations across water sector organizations, agriculture, industry and other stakeholder communities. To help guide our work, we invite members to provide responses to the WateReuse Survey for the EPA Action Plan. Please either submit your ideas directly to EPA and/or to WateReuse so that we can ensure their integration into our own comments. EPA will release a draft Water Reuse Action Plan for public comment in conjunction with the 34th Annual WateReuse Symposium in San Diego, California.
EPA Guidance Rejects the Need for Additional Permitting for Groundwater Recharge
Last week, EPA issued a guidance to clarify its interpretation of the Clean Water Act as it pertains to whether or not National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits are required for groundwater discharges. EPA’s conclusion is that the Clean Water Act does not require such permitting for releases into groundwater. The EPA guidance is relevant to an ongoing case taken up by the Supreme Court that could impact permitting requirements for recycled water groundwater recharge projects. In February 2018, the Ninth Circuit held that the County of Maui’s injection of highly treated effluent into an underground aquifer violated the CWA. The WateReuse Association joined with twelve other associations in submitting an Amicus Brief urging the Supreme Court to overturn the decision.
EPA to Hold Information Sessions on New Water Reuse Financing Opportunity
EPA is offering a series of information sessions for public and private borrowers interested in taking advantage of a new funding round through the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) loan program. EPA estimates that the funding will create at least $6 billion in loan capital for water projects, including projects related to water recycling, which is one of three priority areas for the program in this round. The information sessions will include presentations from WateReuse members and provide information to prospective borrowers about the WIFIA program and this round of funding.
WateReuse Urges Revisions to Reuse Exemptions in “Waters of the U.S.” Rulemaking
The WateReuse Association last week submitted comments on the Administration’s proposed rule revising the definition of “Waters of the United States” and urged revisions to proposed exemptions for water recycling structures. The revised definition includes several critical exemptions that WateReuse fought for during the initial 2014 rulemaking process, including exemptions for water recycling, wastewater treatment, and stormwater control activities from jurisdiction under the rule. However, in our comment letter on the revised rule, WateReuse expressed serious concern over new language that limits these exemptions to upland applications and urged the Administration to remove this limitation. It is unclear when the Administration will release a final rule but WateReuse will track and report on developments as they occur.
State Updates and Member Profiles
California: Santa Margarita Building 1.6 Billion Gallon Reuse Reservoir
WateReuse Association member the Santa Margarita Water District is building a 1.6-billion-gallon reservoir that will be able to store recycled water collected from as many as five South Orange County treatment plants. When completed in 2020, Trampas Canyon Reservoir will provide water to irrigate lawns, parks, trees, greenbelts and street medians. In a later phase of the project, the water district plans to use some of the stored water to recharge groundwater basins via percolation. Read More.
California: City of San Diego, Trussell Partner on Potable Reuse Operator Training
WateReuse Association members the City of San Diego and Trussell Technologies partnered to design and execute a training program to prepare operators for operating a full-scale full advanced treatment train and for passing certification exams for advanced water treatment operators once certification programs are available. The training program emphasizes building practical skill sets by providing hands-on experience opportunities and providing the educational resources to successfully apply theory of treatment to operations. Read More.
Florida: Decision on Tampa Augmentation Project Delayed One Year
Tampa Bay Water, a regional water authority, voted last week to delay a decision on the proposed $350 million Tampa Augmentation Project for one year. The project would supply 50 million gallons of drinking water a day by first pumping recycled water into the Floridan aquifer and then to a reservoir to be treated again for drinking water. During the delay, Tampa Bay Water offered up to $1.6 million to help complete a feasibility study. Read More.
North Carolina: Innovation in Water Recycling in Pittsboro
The Chatham Park Decentralized Wastewater Reclamation Facility, currently under construction in Pittsboro, is using eco-engineering processes to convert wastewater into water that can be used in agricultural, industrial and landscaping applications. The effluent is treated using organisms that consume nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus. The $30 million facility will include an educational center and will have an initial capacity to process 500,000 gallons per day. The five-acre site could expand to up to 2 million gallons a day if needed. Read More.
Texas: EPA Honors Wichita Falls Potable Reuse Project
WateReuse Association member the City of Wichita Falls was honored with the U.S. EPA’s Pisces Award, which recognizes exceptional projects funded by the Clean Water State Revolving Fund. Wichita Falls received a $33.5 million loan to support a potable reuse project that adds purified water to Lake Arrowhead, which serves as a source for drinking water supply. Wichita Falls is one of five cities that received the distinction of an “exceptional project.” Read More.
Conferences and Events
Webcast: Bioanalytical Screening Tools for Recycled Water – An Emerging Technology to Assess Complex Mixtures in Aquatic Environments
What’s the next big thing in monitoring recycled water quality? Please join us May 15 at 2 p.m. eastern to learn how In vitro cell-based assays have shown promise as bioscreening tools to assess environmental mixtures and prioritize sites requiring further investigations. These assays are designed to respond to groups of chemicals. As such, they offer an integrative approach to complement conventional chemical and toxicity testing. Learn More.
Register for the 8th Annual Water Reuse in Texas Conference
WateReuse Texas, Water Environment Association of Texas, and Texas American Water Works Association will host the 8th Annual Water Reuse in Texas Conference, May 23-24, in McAllen, Texas. The program will present the latest on operations, financing, planning, and water quality. Pat Sinicropi, Executive Director of WateReuse Association, will provide a keynote discussion on the future of water reuse, Texas’ role as a reuse pioneer, and EPA’s upcoming Water Reuse Action Plan. Learn More.
Webcast: Innovative Strategies for Municipal Water Reuse
As the municipal water reuse market experiences unprecedented growth and geographic expansion, where are the best opportunities? Please June us on June 5 at 2 pm to gain insight into the evolving municipal water reuse market, learn how utilities can see a return on their investment in reuse, and get the latest forecasts on how the market is poised to take off on a large scale. Learn More.
Presented in partnership with The Water Research Foundation, this presentation will cover key components of successful onsite non-potable water systems.
2:00 – 3:00 pm Eastern ; 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Pacific
WateReuse Members and WRF Subscribers: Free
Across the nation, onsite non-potable water systems (ONWS) are becoming increasingly common as a means to conserve and recycle water. Ensuring consistent implementation is one of the principal challenges for ONWS programs, particularly when multiple, new stakeholders are involved. Water Research Foundation project 4909 sought to identify key knowledge gaps and provide the resources needed to aid in the smooth implementation of ONWS. Through interaction with the National Blue Ribbon Commission for Onsite Non-potable Water Systems, the project team identified common pitfalls that have impacted the design, operation, permitting, and implementation of ONWS.
This presentation will cover key components of a successful ONWS program including: (1) treatment goals that control public health risk, (2) effective design of both treatment and non-treatment (i.e., management) barriers, (3) strategies for effective operation and monitoring of ONWS systems, and (4) frameworks for regulating and permitting ONWS. The goal of this presentation is to convey the importance of stakeholder knowledge for consistent protection of public health at ONWS installations. This information will be presented through a survey of the projects two main deliverables: the comprehensive guidance manual and interactive training modules.
- Brian Pecson, Ph.D., P.E., Principal Engineer, Trussell Technologies
- Brie Post, P.E., Senior Engineer, Trussell Technologies
- Paula Kehoe, Director of Water Resources, San Francisco Public Utilities Commission
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Are water recycling utilities well prepared to address the COVID-19 crisis and other potential future risks?
2:00 – 3:00 pm Eastern ; 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Pacific
WateReuse Members: Free
The America’s Water Infrastructure Act (AWIA) requires all utilities serving 3,300 or more people to complete a risk and resilience assessment (RRA) for their water systems, followed by the completion of an emergency response plan (ERP). The RRA’s are part of an overall effort to improve the ability of water systems to prepare for and respond to events from water resource limitations to cyber attacks, from extreme weather to an assault on the utility, and from contamination to treatment and distribution infrastructure, among others. In short, it is an all-hazards approach to managing risk.
This webcast will discuss how water reuse interacts with the RRAs and highlight some the ways that risks are viewed and managed from an AWIA perspective. It will also discuss how we are interpreting and acting upon risk in the midst the COVID-19 pandemic crisis and how we can use RRAs to prepare for future risks. This webcast will offer a fresh look at risk and resilience through the lens of preparation and response. The presentation will begin with an overview of AWIA requirements, RRAs, and the role of water reuse in those assessments followed by a focus on risk and risk perceptions in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
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Section Meeting & Webinar at Stantec
– featuring Brian Biesemeyer, Scottsdale Water “Arizona’s First Direct Potable Reuse System”