A new set of rules will allow highly treated wastewater to be used in homes and businesses
Arizona has become the first state to adopt a complete regulatory approach to the implementation of direct potable reuse. This was made official in January, and involves a process that will see wastewater treated so thoroughly that it meets drinking water standards. It is then sent straight to the taps of residents and businesses.
The new regulation, which went into effect on January 1, 2018, will allow officials to grant permits to facilities that practice advanced treatment on reclaimed water that is adherent to the necessary standards of drinking water.
Specifically, to achieve such a status, facilities granted this permit would have to a treatment process involving several stages, including one with controls, real-time monitoring, microbial monitoring and chemical monitoring, among other stipulations.
While there are not any facilities that currently meet the standards necessary, the state hopes that the existence of such a regulation will encourage utilities and communities to pursue the certification moving forward in an effort for conservation.
Texas was the first state to utilize direct potable reuse, but is not currently governed by any concrete regulations and has only been used in emergency situations. California also has plans in place for direct potable reuse, but their plans have yet to be finalized.