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ACEC Indiana 9th Annual Environmental Business Conference Reclaimed Water Lessons learned in North Carolina September 12, 2013 Jon Risgaard NC Division of Water Resources Aquifer Protection Section. What is Reclaimed Water?.

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ACEC Indiana9th Annual EnvironmentalBusiness ConferenceReclaimed Water Lessons learned in North CarolinaSeptember 12, 2013Jon RisgaardNC Division of Water ResourcesAquifer Protection Section

what is reclaimed water
What is Reclaimed Water?
  • Reclaimed water is tertiary treated wastewater that meets specific effluent standards, and is used in a beneficial manner for the purpose of conserving the State’s water resources by reducing the use of a water resource.
    • Potable water (i.e., water treatment plants)
    • Surface water (i.e., rivers, lakes and creeks)
    • Groundwater (i.e., confined and unconfined aquifers)
impacts of reclaimed water systems
Impacts of Reclaimed Water Systems
  • Alternative for WW management
    • Reduced concerns with public health
      • Reduced setbacks
      • Increased uses
  • Reduces the demand for potable water
    • Reduces demands on WTF operation
      • Average flow
      • Summer peak flow
    • Reduces demands on water resources
  • Reduces the discharge from WWTF
    • Reduces impact to surface waters (NPDES)
  • Increase Potable Water Rates
  • Reduce available water to downstream users
what is not reclaimed water
What is not reclaimed water?
  • Gray water
    • Water discharged as waste from bathtubs, showers, wash basins, and clothes washers, but not toilets or kitchen sinks.
2010 reclaimed water application
2010 Reclaimed Water Application

Delegated programs or facilities with large distribution networks do not report rates for individual application areas. These facilities represent ≈ 643 million gallons or about 1/3 of all of the reclaimed water volume

trivia time
Trivia time!

What is the percentage of a St. Louis brewed Budweiser beer that is wastewater effluent from Chicago?

  • 0%
  • 0.12%
  • 1.2%
  • 12%

The answer is C!

Every 12 ounce can contains 0.14 ounces of Chicago’s wastewater effluent.

types of uses conjunctive
Types of uses: Conjunctive
  • Other permitted means of disposal (e.g. NPDES)
  • Use is not required for WWTP capacity
  • User controls when and how much is used
  • Relaxed application and monitoring requirements
  • Examples:
    • Residential irrigation supplied by municipal NPDES generator
    • Bulk Fill Stations
types of uses non conjunctive
Types of Uses: Non-conjunctive
  • Use is tied to capacity of the treatment systems
    • Relied on as part of final disposal option
    • Generator has control of when and how much is used
  • Uses must have established irrigation rates
    • Utilization rates based on beneficial reuse
    • Soil capacity, agronomic rate, design calculations
  • Monitoring and reporting are the same as a traditional wastewater irrigation system
design criteria non conjunctive
Design Criteria – Non Conjunctive
  • Storage (same as other land application)
    • Final
    • Reject
  • Dedicated uses (same as other systems)
  • Robust system (Same as other systems)
  • Established Capacity (soils evaluation)
  • Operator????
why all the controls
Why all the Controls?
  • How can you provide disposal capacity if use is not controlled by the generator?
    • Residential irrigation?
    • Industrial cooling water/process water?
    • Golf Course irrigation?
  • If you don’t get capacity credit what is the use?
goals of rulemaking
Goals of Rulemaking
  • Satisfy Statutory requirements
    • Expand uses
    • Clarify/update conditions
    • Remove unintended restrictions
    • Investigate new uses
  • Provide protection of public health and environment
  • Balance between increased flexibility and appropriate regulatory requirements
rule making milestones
Rule Making Milestones
  • 2007-2008: Rule Making Workgroup
  • July 2008: S.L. mandates rule making
  • Sept. 2008: Draft rules approved for public hearing
  • Nov. 2009: Fiscal Note approved
  • Mar. 2010: Public Hearings
  • Nov. 2010: Rules Approved by Commission
  • June 2011: Rules Effective
rule changes overview
Rule Changes Overview
  • Move rules from Non-discharge Rules subchapter to its own subchapter to better identify reclaimed water as a resource
  • Defined terms
    • Reclaimed water
    • Beneficial reuse
    • Beneficial manner
  • Streamline application requirements
  • Expanded permit by rule section
  • Created 2nd type – high quality
  • Approved irrigation to food chain crops and wetland augmentation
nutrient control
Nutrient Control

2010 Reclaimed Water Nutrient Data

nutrient control1
Nutrient Control
  • Intended uses do not require N and P reduction
  • Nutrient reduction at NPDES facilities often drives reuse.
    • TN and TP control often exists at interested WWTF
  • Potential interaction with SW make Nutrient controls helpful.
    • Golf courses
    • Plant nurseries
    • Distribution line blow-offs
  • More Effluent standards may result in few restrictions for users.
pathogen control
Pathogen Control
  • All disinfection systems are not the same
  • Low Fecal does not mean low viruses, cysts, protozoa
  • New indicators may cause lab issues.
  • Can you treat RW like Potable Water?
distribution systems
Distribution Systems
  • Quality standards are met prior to distribution
  • Distribution monitoring plan req’d in permit
    • Generators responsibility to provide good product
  • Distributions system challenges
    • Dead ends
    • Low flows
    • Seasonal flows
    • Managing flushing waters (chlorine, nutrients?)

Setbacks from uses

  • 25 feet to Surface waters
    • 0 ft if <10 mg/l TN and <2 mg/l TP. does not exempt from NPDES permit.
  • 100 feet to wells

Setbacks from storage ponds

  • 100 ftto public water supply source
  • 50 ftto surface waters
  • 100 ftto wells
    • Setback may be waived by the property owner
  • 50 ftto property lines
    • 0 feet to property lines if pond was constructed prior to June 18, 2011
    • Setback may be waived by the property owner.
don t underestimate the power of the npdes program
Don’t Underestimate the Power of the NPDES Program
  • Having the regulatory flexibility to discharge small amounts of reclaimed water as part of the permitting program is critical to the success of the program.
  • Reclaimed program must work closely with NPDES program to ensure that unintended regulatory burdens do not arise.

44,000 gallons Irrigated

45 MGD Discharged

enforcement guidance for unpermitted releases
Enforcement Guidance for Unpermitted Releases
  • Clarify expectations for responding to spills or releases.
permitted by regulation
Permitted by regulation
  • Land application of flushing and hydrostatic test water
  • Incidental overflow from elevated reclaimed water tanks
  • Run-off from fire-fighting
  • Bulk distribution uses
permitted by regulation1
Permitted by regulation
  • Drip irrigation sites that are conjunctive to an onsite wastewater treatment system
  • Conjunctive irrigation systems on residential lots or commercial lots < 1 acre
    • Installed by a NC Licensed Irrigation Contractor
permitted by regulation2
Permitted by regulation
  • Conjunctive irrigation of agricultural crops
    • Includes container nurseries
    • Does not include food chain crops
  • Incidental discharges to MS4s
permitting of users
Permitting of Users
  • Permitting is a burden and disincentive to users
    • Fees
    • Monitoring? Operator? Reporting? Renewal?
    • Subject to enforcement
    • Negative perception
  • Place permitting responsibility on generator
    • Familiar with permitting responsibilities
    • Demonstrate water is safe for use
    • If users are irresponsible – turn off the water
  • Maximize coverage of users via permit by reg or general permit.
recent improvement
Recent improvement
  • Simplify reclaimed application forms
  • Reduced sampling/monitoring requirements (users)
  • No operator requirements for users
  • Customized reporting forms
  • Project submittal meetings
upcoming changes
Upcoming Changes
  • Reduce permitting requirements for users
    • General or deemed permitted status
    • Eliminate reporting requirements if possible
    • Put more responsibility on the generator/provider
  • Expedite permitting for distribution systems
future considerations
Future considerations
  • Elimination of the prohibition on toilet flushing in residential systems
  • Developing a laboratory certification for Coliphage and Clostridium perfringens
  • Hydraulic fracturing (i.e., fracking) and how it relates to reclaimed water
2014 potential legislative changes
2014 Potential Legislative Changes
  • Reduce Hydrogeological evaluation requirements (non-conjunctive systems)
  • Be open to direct and indirect potable reuse
  • Allow reclaimed water for residential toilet flush
  • Provide more flexibility in operator requirements
contact information
Contact Information

Jon Risgaard

(919) 807-6458