California adopts direct potable reuse

Dec. 27, 2023
California’s State Water Resources Control Board is the second state in the U.S. to approve regulations for direct potable reuse, immediately treating wastewater for use in drinking water systems.

California’s State Water Resources Control Board voted to adopt new regulations for direct potable reuse, according to an article in WaterWorld.

The regulations were approved on Tuesday, Dec. 19 in a board meeting, where the State Water Resources Control Board voted unanimously to adopt the regulations.

“On top of helping us build drought-resilient water supplies, direct potable reuse offers energy savings and environmental benefits,” said E. Joaquin Esquivel, chair of the State Water Board, in a press release. “And most importantly, these regulations ensure that the water produced is not only safe, but purer than many drinking water sources we now rely on.”

Indirect potable reuse, where treated wastewater is further treated through long-term underground storage or dilution, is already used in many California water systems’ projects. Indirect potable reuse is employed in projects like Regional San EchoWater, Pure Water Oceanside and more.

Direct potable reuse, where wastewater is treated to drinking water standards in as little as a few hours, will now be possible for other California water system projects.

California is only the second U.S. state to allow purified wastewater to be returned directly to a drinking water system. The first state was Colorado, which had approved direct potable reuse regulations in January 2023.

Read more original coverage in the article “California approves regulations for direct potable reuse” in WaterWorld, an Endeavor Business Media Water Group partner brand.

About the Author

Jeremy Wolfe

Jeremy Wolfe is a former Editor for Wastewater Digest.