Water recycling has proven to be effective and successful in creating a new and reliable water supply, while not compromising public health. Nonpotable reuse is a widely accepted practice that will continue to grow. However, in many parts of the United States, the uses of recycled water are expanding in order to ac commo date the needs of the envi ron ment and growing water supply demands. Advances in wastewater treatment technology and health studies of indirect potable reuse have led many to predict that planned indirect potable reuse will soon become more common.
While water recy cling is a sustain able approach and can be cost-effective in the long term, the treatment of wastewater for reuse and the installation of distribution systems can be initially expensive compared to such water supply alternatives as imported water or ground water. Institutional barriers, as well as varying agency priorities, can make it difficult to implement water recycling projects. Finally, early in the planning process, agencies must im ple ment public outreach to address any concerns and to keep the public involved in the planning process.
As water demands and envi ron mental needs grow, water recy cling will play a greater role in our overall water supply. By working together to overcome obstacles, water recycling, along with water conservation, can help us to conserve and sustainably manage our vital water resources.
At West Basin Wastewater Treatment Plant in California, reverse osmosis, an advanced treatment process, is used tophysically and electrostatically remove impurities from the wastewater.
For more information about water recycling and reuse, contact: Nancy Yoshikawa
US Environmental Protection Agency, Region IX
75 Hawthorne Street
San Francisco, CA 94105
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