posted on October 02, 2015 08:01
It's a topic that makes some a little squeamish, but booming populations and continued droughts have led a few states and countries to take a closer look at processes that bring wastewater back to potable standards. For example, California's Department of Public Health is expected to deliver a report to the legislature next year detailing the feasibility of developing uniform direct potable reuse (DPR) standards for the state. And a DPR facility is already up-and-running in Big Spring, Texas, where groundwater quality is low and the surface water supply is unreliable.
Despite this growing interest, DPR remains an emerging technology shrouded with concerns about cost, implementation, and public acceptance. Fortunately, these are the very questions tackled in a report released earlier this month at the 30th Annual WaterReuse Symposium in Seattle.
Framework for Direct Potable Reuse provides basic information about potable reuse broadly and the potential benifits DPR can provide utilities plagued with unreliable water supplies, mounting water and energy costs, and pressure to preserve resources and lower their carbon footprint. The 190-page report also addresses health effects associated with DPR, discusses how the process fits into the existing federal regulatory framework, outlines strategies for process monitoring and residuals management, and highlights the importance of operator requirements and maintenance programs. It concludes with a discussion of future regulatory, technological, and public outreach needs.
Framework for Direct Potable Reuse was developed by WateReuse, the Water Environment Federation (WEF), the American Water Works Association, and the National Water Research Institute.
The full report is available at the link above. A 4-page summary can also be downloaded on the WEF website.