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Indirect Potable Reuse – Regulatory Impacts

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Water supplies are continually being taxed by increasing demands, and there is a limit to the effectiveness of conservation programs. For Southern California, the rising cost of imported water is leading to the development of alternative supplies, such as recycled water and desalination. Such water recycling programs involving non-potable use, however, can be cost prohibitive. The industry recognizes that we can no longer afford to allow large volumes of water to simply discharge to the ocean. As a result, other methods for beneficially reusing this resource have been and continue to be explored.

Because of the emerging and pressing needs to develop new water supplies, potable reuse projects are being studied through the country to augment existing water supplies. For many years we have employed the technologies necessary to produce safe, high-quality water that removes compounds; these technologies are used in limited applications where the water can directly influence potable water supplies. This paper will summarize the issues surrounding the development and implementation of a potable reuse through groundwater recharge and surface water augmentation. A historical perspective (including four projects) will review regulatory challenges and considerations regarding implementation. Unique challenges and lessons learned will be highlighted.
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Keywords: advanced water treatment; constituents of emerging concern; indirect potable reuse; nutrients; potable reuse; potable reuse regulations; source control

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2011-01-01

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