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Recycled Water Policy

The use of recycled water in California is part of an integrated water management approach that includes water conservation, capture and use of stormwater, aquifer storage and recovery, and other strategies to achieve a sustainable and reliable long-term water supply.”
2018 Recycled Water Policy Staff Report



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Definition of Recycled Water

“water which, as a result of treatment of waste, is suitable for a direct beneficial use or a controlled use that would not otherwise occur and is therefore considered a valuable resource”

(Wat. Code § 13050(n))

Legislation Supports the Use of Recycled Water

The California state legislature has declared that

“…It is the intention of the Legislature that the state undertake all possible steps to encourage development of water recycling facilities so that recycled water may be made available to help meet the growing water requirements of the state”.

(Wat. Code § 13512)

Types of Recycled Water

Non-potable Applications
California Code of Regulations, title 22 section 60304 specifies levels of treatment for the use of recycled water for non-potable applications. The four levels of treatment are:

  • Disinfected tertiary
  • Disinfected secondary-2.2
  • Disinfected secondary-23
  • Undisinfected secondary

 

Potable Applications
Water Code Section 13561 defines the following types of potable recycled water use:

  • “Direct potable reuse” means the planned introduction of recycled water either directly into a public water system, as defined in Section 116275 of the Health and Safety Code, or into a raw water supply immediately upstream of a water treatment plant.  Direct potable reuse includes, but is not limited to, the following:
    • “Raw water augmentation,” which means the planned placement of recycled water into a system of pipelines or aqueducts that deliver raw water to a drinking water treatment plant that provides water to a public water system, as defined in Section 116275 of the Health and Safety Code .
    • “Treated drinking water augmentation,” means the planned placement of recycled water into the water distribution system of a public water system, as defined in Section 116275 of the Health and Safety Code.
  • “Indirect potable reuse for groundwater recharge” means the planned use of recycled water for replenishment of a groundwater basin or an aquifer that has been designated as a source of water supply for a public water system, as defined in Section 116275 of the Health and Safety Code .
  • “Reservoir water augmentation” means the planned placement of recycled water into a raw surface water reservoir used as a source of domestic drinking water supply for a public water system, as defined in Section 116275 of the Health and Safety Code , or into a constructed system conveying water to such a reservoir.

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Contacts

Tricia Lee
Tricia.Lee@waterboards.ca.gov
916-323-0875

Rebecca Greenwood
Rebecca.Greenwood@waterboards.ca.gov
916-341-5858