Home\Press Releases\New Report Provides Recommendations for the Regulation of Direct Potable Reuse In Arizona

New Report Provides Recommendations for the Regulation of Direct Potable Reuse In Arizona

Date: February 07, 2018

WateReuse Arizona, AZ Water Association, and the National Water Research Institute (NWRI) are pleased to announce the publication of Guidance Framework for Direct Potable Reuse in Arizona, a 114-page document meant to inform the State of Arizona as it develops regulations for direct potable reuse (DPR) that are protective of public health and effectively manage the state’s water resources.  Published by NWRI, the Guidance Framework can be downloaded here.

“This document is the capstone of a collective effort spanning a number of years,” said Tim Thomure, Director of Tucson Water and Vice-President of the AZ Water Association.  “It provides a solid foundation for a robust potable reuse framework in Arizona to protect public health and meet water supply challenges faced by many communities.”

DPR is an emerging strategy to improve water reliability and mitigate water scarcity that involves using highly treated municipal wastewater to augment public drinking water supplies.  At present, the State of Arizona does not have guidance or regulations specific to DPR; however, in 2016, the State began revising the Arizona Administrative Code to expand the beneficial reuse of treated wastewater in Arizona.  The revision process involved extensive stakeholder involvement and expertise.  Notably, two technical work groups made up of stakeholders were commissioned in 2017 by the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) to address a series of questions related to water reuse in Arizona, including the future of DPR.  ADEQ also prepared and released a draft interim regulation in June 2017 to allow DPR under strict regulatory oversight until a final DPR regulation can be developed and enacted.  Work has already begun on the final DPR regulation.

“The development of this regulatory framework is just in time for Arizona as several communities are actively evaluating potable reuse as a viable water supply option,” said Thomure.

The AZ Water Association and WateReuse Arizona – active stakeholders in the process to revise the Arizona Administrative Code to include DPR – tasked NWRI with preparing the Guidance Framework, which involved reviewing existing potable reuse regulations, project experience in the U.S., and current research to develop specific recommendations regarding the development of regulations for DPR in Arizona.  NWRI is a nonprofit organization experienced with the technologies, water quality, policies, and research studies associated with potable reuse across the nation, and has produced a number of research and guidance documents on DPR (including analogous reports for regulatory agencies in the states of California and New Mexico).  The authors included Jeff Mosher of the Water Environment & Reuse Association (WE&RF) and Gina Vartanian of NWRI.

“This body of work demonstrates our commitment to Arizona’s water future and the importance of recycled water as part of a safe and robust supply portfolio,” said Dr. Channah Rock of the University of Arizona and Past-President of WateReuse Arizona.

The recommendations in the Guidance Framework cover various facets of DPR, ranging from managerial (terminology, financing, outreach, operator training) to technical (pathogen reduction requirements, advanced treatment technologies, water quality and performance monitoring, facility operations).  They are intended to:

  • Be protective of public health based on available technical and scientific information.
  • Incorporate a level of public health protection as good as or better than provided by conventional drinking water supplies.

NWRI submitted the Guidance Framework to the AZ Water Association and WateReuse Arizona in late January 2018.  The report has since been provided to ADEQ to support the development of the regulatory framework for potable reuse in Arizona.  “We are pleased that NWRI was able to support WateReuse Arizona and AZ Water in developing recommended safe and effective approaches for implementing DPR in Arizona,” said Kevin Hardy, Executive Director of NWRI.

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