By Larry Schimmoller, CH2M HILL Global Technology Leader for Water Reuse
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Guidelines for Water Reuse debuted in 1980, and has been updated several times since to make sure it remains the international standard for best practices in water reuse. The recent 2012 update highlights the range of water reuse applications being implemented around the world—from low-technology solutions to very advanced treatment technologies. Updates to the document have focused on key topic areas identified by stakeholders, including:
— The role of reuse in integrated water resources planning and management, also referred to as total water management;
— Energy use and sustainability associated with water reuse;
— Increased focus on agricultural reuse;
— Wetlands polishing and stream augmentation;
— Groundwater augmentation and managed aquifer recharge;
— Coverage of individual onsite and graywater reuse systems; and
— New information on indirect potable reuse practices with considerations for direct potable reuse.
The document also provides links to state reuse guidelines and regulations and includes expanded information on the status of current international reuse practices.
As CH2M HILL has been leading the way in water reuse for more than 35 years, implementing more than 500 global projects and giving the firm a depth of experience unparalleled in the industry, I hope it comes as no surprise to you that a number of CH2M HILL experts contributed to the 2012 update and that a number of our clients’ projects are featured as case studies.
If you have seen a copy of the 2012 Guidelines, you may have noticed a gorgeous photo of our Clayton County, Georgia, wetland project on the cover (bottom right of cover). The project is featured in the case study, “Sustainable Water Reclamation Using Constructed Wetlands: The Clayton County Water Authority Success Story,” (page D-110) which was co-authored by CH2M HILL’s Jim Bays and Veronica Jarrin and Clayton County Water Authority’s Jim Poff.
CH2M HILL’s Mike Wilson provided the report with an important perspective on reuse at industrial and commercial facilities, writing the case studies, “Decentralized Wastewater Treatment and Reclamation for an Industrial Facility, EMC Corporation Inc., Hopkinton, Massachusetts,” (D-123) “Sustainability and Potable Water Savings as Drivers for Reuse: Toilet Flushing at Gillette Stadium” (D-124) and “Zero-Discharge, Reuse, and Irrigation at Fallingwater, Western Pennsylvania Conservancy” (D-139).
CH2M HILL’s Linda Macpherson provided her globally-recognized expertise to Chapter 8, “Public Outreach, Participation, and Consultation.” Public involvement and support of reuse projects is critical to the success of any reuse program, and the chapter is filled with advice on how to approach the public engagement process as well as numerous case studies.
Water reuse offers numerous environmental, economic and social benefits, and we are proud to be helping municipalities and industries alike make the most of what reuse technology has to offer. Check out some of these other Access Water blogs about cool water reuse projects, technologies and programs, or email me, to start thinking about how water reuse might benefit your business or community.
Larry Schimmoller is a senior project manager and principal technologist in CH2M HILL’s Water Business Group. He is also CH2M HILL’s Global Technology Leader for water reuse and has extensive experience in the planning, piloting, process selection, design, and construction of water treatment and water reuse projects.