Information On The Use Of Reclaimed Water by danman21


									                                                                                                                                     Michael F. Easley, Governor

                                                                                                                                   William G. Ross Jr., Secretary
                                                                                                 North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources

                                                                                                                                            Coleen Sullins Director
                                                                                                                                          Division of Water Quality

                             Information On The Use Of Reclaimed Water
                                                                   October 23, 2007

     Because of drought conditions persisting in North Carolina, many municipalities and industries
     have expressed an interest in using reclaimed water in lieu of potable water for non-potable
     water uses. Reclaimed water is wastewater effluent that has been highly treated and meets the
     reclaimed water effluent criteria. Under North Carolina rules, reclaimed water can be used for
     landscape irrigation, dust control, soil compaction, in non-potable industrial processes, cooling
     water. Many municipalities such as Raleigh, Cary, Johnston County, and Wilson have been
     using reclaimed water for several years. The general public should contact their local public
     works department to see if the town or city has been approved to distribute reclaimed water.

     For wastewater treatment plant owners that are interested in developing a reclaimed water
     program, the Division of Water Quality offers the following guidance for conjunctive reclaimed
     water systems (i.e., not needed for disposal capacity). Note: DWQ recognizes that processing
     these permit application requests and providing opportunities for safe reuse systems is a high
     priority for the state, especially during current drought conditions, and will handle these requests
     as expeditiously as possible. All reclaimed water utilization projects shall conform to the
     reclaimed water Utilization Rules – See 15A NCAC 02T .0900. See the Land Application Unit’s
     web page at:

     If a municipality already has a reclaimed water permit:
                 • A change in the use of reclaimed water (if a new type of industry is added to the
                     distribution list) may require a minor permit modification to the municipality’s
                     wastewater treatment permit. Most permits already contain approvals for most
                     allowable reclaimed water uses.
                 • If the reclaimed water is to be trucked to the new industry (bulk distribution) or if
                     distribution lines are already in the ground, the permit modification for the
                     wastewater treatment plant may be simple or not required. Note: the permit
                     needs to specifically allow for bulk distribution.
                 • If distribution lines are not present and bulk distribution is not used, a permit is
                     required for the installation of a reclaimed water distribution system as well as a
                     permit modification for the wastewater treatment system.
                 • Any new uses, even if allowed in the permit, may require modification of the
                     education and / or cross connection control program.

     If the municipality does not have a reclaimed water permit:
                 • The facility generating the reclaimed water must be able to demonstrate the
                     ability to comply with the reclaimed water effluent standards and operational
                     requirements (see link to rules provided above). Many NPDES (point-source
                     discharge) permitted plants can meet the requirements for reclaimed water with

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                few modifications – requirements may include improved turbidity control and
            •   These may be minor modifications to the permit, which will be prioritized for
                review during drought conditions. Factors for review will include the reliability
                of the wastewater treatment facility to meet effluent criteria, the number of uses
                requested in the program, and the extent of engineering plan review needed for
                new equipment.
            •   Developing the needed education, cross-connection, procedures, etc. may require
                considerable effort prior to permit submission.
            •   A bulk distribution (tank trucks) type program for spot irrigation of landscape
                material, dust control, construction purposes, etc. can be implemented the
                quickest. A specific application form for Bulk Distribution Programs is available
                – see link below for the application.

The receiving industry:
           • The industry would need to have a permit covering the discharge of the reclaimed
               water after it is used by the industry. This could be an existing NPDES, a non-
               discharge, or a pre-treatment disposal permit. In all cases, the industry is required
               to continue to meet permit requirements in the existing disposal permit and the
               permitting authority for the existing disposal permit should provide concurrence
               that the use of reclaimed water is acceptable.

Reclaimed water from industry to industry:
          • This process has the same requirements as for receiving reclaimed water from a
             municipal wastewater treatment system.
          • In addition, DWQ requires a written agreement between the industries involved to
             delineate responsibilities.

Considerations for the educational program include:
           • Education material must be specific to the users and the use of reclaimed water.
           • Employees with direct contact to the reclaimed water distribution system must be
              made aware of the presence of reclaimed water, and proper actions for spill
           • Responsible parties accepting reclaimed water for use must be provided
              educational material with information on the proper use of the reclaimed water.
           • Educational material should be bilingual if the users may not fully understand
              English education material.

Useful links:

Forms Required For Reclaimed Water Systems Can Be Found At:
WateReuse Association links for reuse information:
EPA Guidelines:
General Cross-Connection information:

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