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Last updated April 25, 2019
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There are countless applications for reclaimed water that allow individual municipalities to support environmental sustainability in their communities.


In a recent project in Ontario, Calif., the city created an entire ice rink from reclaimed water that will ultimately save as much as 600,000 gallons of potable water over a single hockey season.


While using reclaimed water may seem like a no brainer, as it is a more economical and eco-friendly option versus potable water, it is a massive undertaking that can be complicated by the fact that there aren’t federal laws regulating the process.


The city created an entire ice rink from reclaimed water for family recreation

While using reclaimed water may seem like a no brainer, as it is a more economical and eco-friendly option versus potable water, it is a massive undertaking that can be complicated by the fact that there aren’t federal laws regulating the process.


Instead, municipalities must take it upon themselves to follow reclaimed water best practices and standards.

Otherwise, there could be ramifications that extend beyond city borders.


Specific protocols often vary by region, but there are certain best practices from which other municipalities can model their own high standards.


Create a Master Plan

Before you can develop a set of best practices and standards for your reclaimed water, you must first identify the applications for which the recycled water will be used.

The city created an entire ice rink from reclaimed water for family recreation

Develop a master plan that based on your own municipality’s water supply and demand will determine the possible uses for reclaimed water.


This will also determine the type of facility and equipment you will need to process the water.

The way in which you intend to use the reclaimed water will determine the degree to which the water must be treated, such as secondary, tertiary or advanced-treatment levels, and the resulting water quality.


For instance, the process for treating waste water that will be used for agricultural reuse differs from water being treated for industrial reuse.


With agricultural reuse, you are treating water that may eventually be exposed to crops for public consumption, which may require a more rigorous treatment approach versus reused water for industrial purposes such as oil and gas drilling.

Identify Obstacles

If you reside in a region that routinely undergoes periods of water shortages or drought, you should take this into consideration during the planning process. For instance, in Florida’s Pinellas County, reclaimed water is used for agricultural purposes including irrigation.


The county places restrictions on reclaimed-water use during periods in which the rainfall is not sufficient.


Another option, if you don’t want to place restrictions on the agricultural community, is to develop reclaimed water storage facilities with adequate capacity to withstand times of high demand.

Survey the Area

Identify the customers to which the reclaimed water will be targeted. This will help you to create the most efficient system for the highest benefit.


For instance, if you will be using the reclaimed water for irrigation purposes, survey the land and locate lots that would be eligible for water reuse.

Business partners on wheat field

You could do this by obtaining blueprints or by flying over the area with a local airport rental service to spot potential customers, such as farm owners and golf courses, for example.


Be prepared to take the time to educate end-users about the features of reclaimed water, especially if water reuse is not a common option in your municipality.

Conclusion

Whether you are developing reclaimed water best practices and standards for the first time or want to make sure your current protocols are up to snuff, we can help.


Contact us today to identify areas where you can create or improve procedures for the most efficient operation.

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