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Not Just for Water Supply

Posted on Wednesday, October 16th, 2019 | Posted in News

Water Reuse Addresses Stormwater, Nutrients

water-recycling symbol

When state water agencies gathered in San Diego last month to discuss water-reuse activities and regulations, the dry states of the West focused on reducing demand for water.

However, water reuse also promises to reduce runoff and nutrient pollution, even in the water-rich Northeast.

The Long Island Nitrogen Action Plan (LINAP) is promoting water reuse as a way to reduce nitrogen pollution. LINAP hopes that using effluent from wastewater-treatment plants to irrigate golf courses will displace fertilizer use because the effluent includes nutrients that can be used by turf grass and other plants. Reuse will also reduce demand on Long Island’s aquifer.

At WEFTEC in Chicago last month, a technical session explored reuse as one of many strategies for mitigating peak stormwater flows. WEFTEC is the annual North American conference of the Water Environment Federation.

National Action Plan

The San Diego meeting included a presentation from the EPA and other agencies about the EPA’s draft Water Reuse Action Plan. The plan is designed to advance reuse activities by states and others. It recommends that reuse be considered in an integrated water-planning framework that captures all of the potential benefits of reuse applications.

A “state regulatory summit” convened as part of the event noted significant reuse-related training needs for operators and for state and municipal employees. The states also discussed problems posed to reuse projects by PFAS and other emerging contaminants.

The NEIWPCC states were represented at the event by Commission Environmental Analyst Peter Zaykoski. NEIWPCC is consulting with state agencies to explore a response to the draft Water Reuse Action Plan. Comments are due December 16.

Water reuse was the subject of a story in the March, 2016, issue of the Interstate Water Report, the predecessor of Interstate Waters. The story has been reprinted and can be read online.

iWR • October 2019 • To front page

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