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.
1 pm PT | 4 pm ET (1 hour)
WateReuse Members: Free; Others: $49
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service, agriculture accounts for more than 80% of the nation’s water consumption. Water reuse is uniquely suited to provide resilience, local control, environmental protection, and high water quality for this critical demand. Join our webcast to learn about two innovative approaches to securing America’s food supply with water reuse, strategies for overcoming obstacles, and gain insight on how USDA conservation programs can be a valuable resource in funding these projects.
- Dr. Chris Hay, Conservation Design Scientist, Iowa Soybean Association
- Julie Hawkins, State Conservationist, USDA-NRCS
- Mike McCullough, Director of External Affairs, Monterey One Water
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