Recycled Water Policy
The State Water Board supports and encourages the sustainable use of recycled water to promote conservation of water resources. The Policy for Water Quality Control for Recycled Water (Recycled Water Policy) is an important element of the overall effort to encourage the safe use of recycled water in a manner that is protective of public health and the environment. The purpose of the Recycled Water Policy is to increase the use of recycled water from municipal wastewater sources that meets the definition in Water Code section 13050(n), in a manner that implements state and federal water quality laws. For the purpose of this Policy, recycled water refers to the reuse of treated wastewater derived from municipal sources, i.e., water that is covered under California Code of Regulations Title 22, Water Recycling Criteria. Other types of water reuse include greywater, agricultural return water, industrial wastewater, and water produced from oil field operations. These types of water reuse are regulated through other programs.
The Recycled Water Policy provides goals for recycled water use in California, guidance for use of recycled water that considers protection of water quality, criteria for streamlined permitting of recycled water projects, and requirements for monitoring recycled water for constituents of emerging concern (CECs).
The Recycled Water Policy was first adopted in 2009, and was amended in 2013 to specify monitoring requirements for CECs in recycled water for groundwater recharge projects based on recommendations from a 2010 Science Advisory Panel on CECs in recycled water. The Recycled Water Policy includes a provision to reconvene a Science Advisory Panel every five years to update its recommendations for CEC monitoring in recycled water.
(Select “Recycled Water Policy/General Permit for Landscape Irrigation” under Water Quality)
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”
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”.
Proposed Amendment to the Recycled Water Policy
In December 2016, the State Water Board adopted Resolution No. 2016-0061, which directed staff to reconvene the Science Advisory Panel to update its recommendations for monitoring CECs in recycled water and update the Recycled Water Policy considering changes that have taken place since 2013.
PFOS and PFOA Revised Proposed Amendment Released for Public Comment (August 27, 2018)
On July 13, 2018, the State Water Board Division of Drinking Water issued Notification Levels for perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and for perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA). State Water Board staff requested the Science Advisory Panel on CECs in Recycled Water re-evaluate PFOS and PFOA considering the new Notification Levels and determine if they should be added to the CEC monitoring list in the Proposed Amendment. Upon review, the Panel recommended adding PFOS and PFOA to the CEC monitoring list for potable recycled water projects and staff revised the May 9th, 2018 draft of the Proposed Amendment and Draft SR/SED to reflect this recommendation. The only changes to the Revised Proposed Amendment are the addition of PFOS and PFOA to the list of health-based CECs.
State Water Board staff will review comments received from the May 9, 2018 to June 26, 2018 comment period as well as from this comment period, which ends September 10, 2018 and will prepare responses to comments. Staff will then prepare a Revised Proposed Amendment and a Revised Draft SR/SED that incorporates feedback from the first and second public comment periods for the Board’s consideration. Written comment letters must be received by 12:00 noon on Monday, September 10, 2018. Additional details are given in the public notice, below.
- Public notice
- Revised proposed amendment
- Revised draft staff report and substitute environmental documentation
- Memo from the Science Advisory Panel on PFOS and PFOA
- Public comments received on the proposed amendment by: September 10, 2018 by 12 noon
Proposed Amendment Released for Public Comment (May 9, 2018)
- Public notice
- Proposed amendment
- Proposed amendment with markup of 2013 Recycled Water Policy
- Draft staff report and substitute environmental documentation
- June 19, 2018 Public Hearing staff presentation (Laura McLellan and Tessa Fojut)
- Public comments received on the proposed amendment by: June 26, 2018 by 12 noon
- Agenda for January 4 stakeholder workshop
- Presentation of January 4 stakeholder workshop
- Agenda for January 11 stakeholder workshop
- Informational document for stakeholder workshops
- Bioanalytical screening tools staff workshop
- Video Recordings
- CEQA early public consultation meeting presentation
- Early Public Consultation Meeting Informational Document
- CEQA Notice
Science Advisory Panel on CECs in Recycled Water
- Final Report from the Science Advisory Panel on CECs in recycled water
- Agenda for December 15, 2017 public meeting of the Science Advisory Panel on CECs in recycled water
- Additional information: Constituents of Emerging Concern in Recycled Water
Recycled Water Policy Documents
- For questions or comments, please contact