We are hearing about water shortages in all parts of the country from the droughts in Georgia to the droughts in California and the drawdown of aquifers across the country. In the January 2018 issue of the Onsite Installer magazine, there is a Rules and Regs update from across the U.S. written by David Steinkraus. One of the mentioned upcoming regulations is from California. They are discussing and the new law to be enacted by 2021 deals with using a portion of treated wastewater to be recycled into the front end of water treatment plants. This concept has been discussed for years. The title of the story is California Moves Toward Toilet-to-Tap Wastewater Recycling and I have copied the story below:
In the following story, “mgd” is million gallons per day.
Because it contains 12 percent of the country’s people, California sets standards in many ways. Now, it will work on a standard for potable use of recycled water. Gov. Jerry Brown has signed AB 574, which directs state agencies to develop regulations for direct potable reuse of recycled water by blending it with raw water in the pipes leading into a water ﬁltration plant.Under the new law, by 2021, the California State Water Resources Control Board must adopt uniform criteria for augmenting raw water with recycled water, and it requires the board to establish a framework for the regulation of potable reuse projects by June 1. The law builds on a previous one that directed the water board to establish rules for recharging groundwater and adding recycled water to a reservoir. At the same time, the law prohibits the board from adopting criteria if its expert advisory panel determines there would be a threat to public health. Supporters of the law pointed out the need for California to develop alternative sources of water to serve its population in the face of recurring droughts.“California is a world leader in potable reuse, using highly puriﬁed recycled water for drinking water purposes. The use of recycled water for non potable uses, such as agricultural and landscape irrigation, is already well-established and has been regulated for decades in California,” says Rep.Bill Quirk, D-Hayward, who introduced the bill in the Assembly. This year, the city of San Diego announced plans for a multiyear and multibillion-dollar project to add recycled water to its reservoirs. The ﬁrst phase is now being designed. When completed in 2021, it will produce 30 mgd. The second and third phases are projected to be in place by 2035 and will produce an additional 53 mgd. The total 83 mgd will be about one-third of the city’s water supply. Currently, the city imports about 85 percent of its water supply from the Colorado River and the river delta that feeds San Francisco Bay. Some San Diego wastewater will be recycled for non-potable uses such as irrigation. The rest will be sent to reservoirs but ﬁrst will go through another water puriﬁcation plant using ozone, biological activated carbon, membranes, reverse osmosis and UV equipment.