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Divisions: Water Conservation and Reuse - Reuse

Water Reuse Committee

The Water Reuse Committee focuses on the methods and regulations to allow cost efficient use of reclaimed water for a variety of purposes.  Water reuse basically means to recycle water that would otherwise return to the hydrologic system, for subsequent beneficial use. 

Water reuse can increase efficiency and reduce waste by extending the work done per unit of treated source water.  Examples of water reuse include irrigation of a golf course with treated wastewater effluent; the use of condensate for cooling tower makeup; or a closed-loop recycling system where process wastewater is repeatedly recycled back through the process in which the water was generated.

Water for reuse is often termed reclaimed water, which is water that is used more than once before it passes back into the natural water cycle; or in our realm, wastewater that has been treated to a level that allows for its beneficial reuse.  Recycled water is another name for reclaimed water.  Use of reclaimed water in its most familiar form involves utilizing suitably treated wastewater for nonpotable reuse in order to offset the demand for potable (drinking) water.  Nonpotable reuse includes all reclaimed water applications that are not related to drinking water.  An example would be the use of reclaimed water for landscape irrigation.  Reclaimed water requires treatment and disinfection before distribution into "purple pipes" in order to ensure public health and environmental quality protection.

Current technology also enables the use of reclaimed water for drinking water purposes, either directly or indirectly.  Indirect potable reuse (IPR) refers to the blending of highly treated reclaimed water into a natural source water (groundwater aquifer or surface water reservoir) that can later be used for drinking water after further treatment.  Perhaps unintentionally, but IPR has essentially been happening for several years in our highly utilized water supplies. Direct potable reuse (DPR) refers to the addition of advanced treated recycled water directly to a drinking water system, without first entering the natural environment prior to beneficial reuse.  Currently, DPR requires advanced treatment processes, such as membrane filtration, reverse osmosis and advanced oxidation, to ensure public safety.  As Texas faces continuing drought and a growing population, DPR is becoming one of the alternatives for water supply augmentation, which has made our state a pioneer in this new sphere.

To participate with this Committee, contact Jason Christensen at 512 912-5100 or jason.christensen@hdrinc.com 



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Division Chair
Jason J. Christensen
Section Executive Director
Mike Howe