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NWRI identifies key issues it believes would need to be addressed by regulatory agencies and utilities in California interested in direct potable reuse
A new whitepaper published by the National Water Research Institute (NWRI) identifies key issues it believes would need to be addressed by regulatory agencies and utilities in California interested in pursuing direct potable reuse as a viable option to satisfy future water demands.
Direct potable reuse refers to the introduction of highly-treated recycled water into a potable water distribution system. Due to limitations in water resources, there is growing interest among water utilities, water-related associations and environmental advocacy groups in California to pursue an assessment of research needs, regulatory requirements and other factors for direct potable reuse to be considered as a source of water supply in the future.
Titled “Regulatory Aspects of Direct Potable Reuse in California,” the NWRI whitepaper highlights several regulatory issues; the following are a few of them:
• Clarify what constitutes direct potable reuse versus indirect potable reuse;
• Compensate for the loss of an environmental buffer;
• Determine the number, type and reliability of treatment processes necessary to serve as multiple barriers;
• Determine if dilution will be required as an added safety factor;
• Determine what monitoring requirements will be needed; and
• Clarify the type and level of public health risk assessment needed.
The whitepaper was prepared by James Crook, Ph.D., P.E., an environmental engineer with more than 37 years of experience in state government and consulting, including directing the California Department of Public Health’s water reuse program for 15 years.
Crook presented the NWRI whitepaper at the Direct Potable Reuse Workshop by WateReuse California, California Urban Water Agencies and NWRI. The NWRI whitepaper was used to help identify regulatory and research needs by participants at the workshop. The outcome of this workshop (available this summer) will be a list of activities related to pursuing research related to direct potable reuse.