and What You Need to Know About Potable Reuse
Greetings, everyone. By this time, we all should be settling into the routines of the new year and moving forward to the tasks at hand.
The new FWPCOA officers for 2020 were seated at the board of directors meeting held at the Emerald Grande at HarborWalk Village in Destin on January 18. The new officers are:
Ken Enlow - President
Patrick Murphy - Vice-President
Mike Darrow - Past President
Rim Bishop - Secretary-Treasurer
Athena Tipaldos - Secretary-Treasurer-Elect
Please welcome the new officers and don’t hesitate to contact any one of us if you have questions or needs. Contact information is available on the FWPCOA website at www.fwpcoa.org.
I want to thank Mike Darrow for his dedicated service as the president of FWPCOA over the last two years. Mike did a fantastic job during his tenure helping to make us a stronger organization and increasing membership.
I also want to welcome Athena Tipaldos to the position of secretary-treasurer-elect as she takes on the role of a state officer. She will be an asset to the organization with her background in the industry and her enthusiasm.
A Discussion on Potable Reuse
As promised in my January column, I would like to talk about potable reuse; specifically, about indirect and direct potable reuse.
First of all: What are we talking about?
Indirect potable reuse – This refers to the method of discharging reclaimed water from a wastewater treatment plant to groundwater or surface water to supplement the water supply to a potable water treatment plant.
Direct potable reuse – This refers to adding reclaimed water from an advanced wastewater treatment facility into a raw water supply prior to drinking water treatment facility or directly into the “potable” water distribution system intended for human consumption.
There are two basic types of direct potable reuse systems:
Advanced treated reclaimed water is introduced upstream of a water treatment facility into the raw water source for a water treatment facility.
Advanced treated reclaimed water is introduced directly into the potable water distribution system.
Why would we use treated wastewater for potable reuse?
Florida’s population is one of the fastest growing in the United States. Although we are surrounded by water, suitable and clean water resources are limited. Continuing to withdraw water from groundwater and surface water sources to maintain this growth could have a serious impact on the natural system and the ability for it to replenish the sources through the hydrological cycle. By introducing reclaimed water from advanced wastewater treatment facilities into the source water, the natural system can be augmented, and therefore take some of the demand off of the natural system.
What else could be driving the need to look to potable reuse?
Possible changes in regulations could restrict or prohibit discharge of wastewater effluent to surface water sources under certain conditions in the future. This could leave potable reuse as an alternative to current wastewater discharge practices.
Where do we go from here?
Federal regulations do not exist for potable reuse and regulations vary from state to state where potable reuse has already been practiced. Going forward, Florida will need to establish regulations for potable reuse. Some of the key questions to be answered are:
How do we permit facilities?
What type/level of operator license will be needed?
Are there any changes needed to be made related to water quality regulations for both potable reuse water entering the potable treatment system and finished water entering the distribution system?
How can you help?
The FWPCOA is working with the Potable Reuse Commission to develop a position statement that would reflect the opinion of the operators we represent concerning potable reuse operator certification and training. A survey has been put together by our Reuse Committee to give the membership a chance to provide their thoughts and input about potable reuse.
We hope to have the survey available on the FWPCOA website later in February or early March. It’s very important that the committee gets input from the membership in order to have a clear understanding of our members’ thoughts for our opinion statement. Every opinion counts and this is your chance to express your thoughts, concerns, and needs for the future of reuse.
We’re planning to present a case study of a reuse pilot project completed at the City of Clearwater by Emilie Moore with Tetra Tech Inc. at the Operators Showcase on Sunday, April 26, 2020, at the Florida Water Resource Conference in West Palm Beach. This should be an interesting presentation and a chance for operators to ask questions and provide input.
Don’t forget to register for the FWPCOA Spring State Short School, which will be held in Ft. Pierce the week of March 16 through March 20.
Also, don’t forget to register for the Florida Water Resource Conference, being held April 26 through April 29 in West Palm Beach
That’s it for this C Factor. Keep up the good work. Stay active and make a difference