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Report to Legislature on the Feasibility of Developing Uniform Water Recycling Criteria for Direct Potable Reuse

About the Report to Legislature on the Feasibility of Developing Uniform Water Recycling Criteria for Direct Potable Reuse

Pursuant to California Water Code (CWC) 13560 - 13569 [Senate Bill 918 (Pavley), 2010 and Senate Bill 322 (Hueso), 2013], the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) is required to investigate and report to the Legislature on the feasibility of developing uniform water recycling criteria (regulations) for direct potable reuse (DPR) by December 31, 2016. The senate bills and statutes pre-dated the transfer of CDPH Drinking Water Program into the State Water Board on July 1, 2014. The CDPH legislative mandates to complete this task become the responsibility of Division of Drinking Water (DDW) of the State Water Board.

As required by CWC section 13565, the State Water Board convened two independent groups, an expert panel of scientists and engineers, and an advisory group of stakeholders, to advise the State Water Board on issues related to the investigation of the feasibility of developing uniform water recycling criteria for direct potable reuse. The recommendations of the Expert Panel and Advisory Group established the foundation of the State Water Board's investigation and findings; the Expert Panel report and the Advisory Group report are included as appendices to the State Water Board's Draft Report.

As required by CWC sections 13563 & 13566, the State Water Board prepared the Draft Report after considering the recommendations of the Expert Panel and Advisory Group; available research regarding unregulated pollutants as developed pursuant to the State Water Board's Recycled Water Policy; the regulations and guidelines in place for direct potable reuse from jurisdictions in other states, federal government and other countries; water quality and health risk assessments associated with existing potable water supplies subject to the discharges from municipal wastewater, stormwater and agricultural runoff; and, pursuant to CWC section 13563, the results of an investigation of all of the following:

  1. The availability and reliability of recycled water treatment technologies necessary to ensure the protection of public health;
  2. Multiple barriers and sequential treatment processes that may be appropriate at wastewater and water treatment facilities;
  3. Available information on health effects;
  4. Mechanisms that should be employed to protect public health if problems are found in recycled water that is being served to the public as a potable water supply, including, but not limited to, the failure of treatment systems at the recycled water treatment facility;
  5. Monitoring needed to ensure protection of public health, including, but not limited to, the identification of appropriate indicator and surrogate constituents;
  6. Any other scientific or technical issues that may be necessary, including, but not limited to, the need for additional research.

Public Comments

CWC section 13563 requires that the State Water Board provide the public no less than 45 days to review and comment on the Draft Report. The 45-day public comment period for the Draft Report opened on September 8 and closed on October 25, 2016 at noon.

Public Workshops

Opportunity for the public to present comments took place at two workshops in Southern and Northern California in early October 2016.

Additional Information

State Water Board DDW staff provided an informational item to the State Water Board members at the December 15, 2015 board meeting to update the board members regarding the development of surface water augmentation regulations and the Report to the Legislature on the Feasibility of Developing Uniform Recycling Criteria for DPR.

Per SB 322, the State Water Board must summarize the recommendations of the Expert Panel in a report by June 30, 2016. The expert panel accomplished this task and has submitted the memorandum dated June 30, 2016. The State Water Board is posting the memorandum to fulfill the requirement in SB 322. These draft recommendations are finalized in the Expert Panel's report dated August 2016.

Contact Information

Randy Barnard, P.E.
Senior Sanitary Engineer
(619) 525-4022
Randy.Barnard@waterboards.ca.gov


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