Uses of Recycled Water

Typical Highway landscaping irrigated with recycled water, maintained by CalTrans.[/caption]

Recycled water is defined in the California Water Code as “water which, as a result of treatment of waste [water], is suitable for a direct beneficial use or a controlled use that would not otherwise occur.” Depending on the level of treatment, blackwater, treated to appropriate reclaimed water standards is fit for all non-potable uses.

With more advanced treatment—reverse osmosis, advanced oxidation, ultraviolet irradiation, etc.—it can be used also for potable uses. Potable reuse of highly-treated blackwater is already practiced in Virginia, Texas, Arizona, Orange County, Los Angeles County, Singapore, and Namibia.

The State of California regulations enumerate 43 non-potable uses of recycled water that can be allowed after specified levels of treatment. These uses are described in the website of the California Department of Public Health.

A summary of some allowed uses of recycled water is shown in the graphic below. Click the image to view in full-size: