Direct Potable Reuse in California Specialty Seminar
Held on Wednesday, September 23, 2015, at the David Brower Center, 2150 Allston Way, Berkeley, CA 94704-4911
- California State Water Resources Control Board
- UC Berkeley School of Public Health
Purpose of the Seminar: To discuss and review issues related to direct potable reuse (DPR) that will be addressed by the DPR Expert Panel organized for the State Water Resources Control Board’s Division of Drinking Water (DDW). Per California Water Code Section 13560-13569, the DPR Expert Panel is charged with evaluating the feasibility of developing DPR criteria for the State of California. Click here to view the program agenda.
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Frances Spivy-Weber, California State Water Resources Control Board
Robert Hultquist, P.E., California Department of Public Health (retired)
Jason Dadakis, P.G., C.Hg., Orange County Water District
George Tchobanoglous, Ph.D., P.E., University of California, Davis
Julie Minton, WateReuse
Michael Denison, Ph.D., University of California, Davis
Kevin Crofton, Ph.D., US Environmental Protection Agency
Richard Bull, Ph.D., Washington State University (retired) and Expert Panel member
R. Shane Trussell, Ph.D., Trussell Technologies, Inc.
Augmenting Public Water Supplies with DPR
Public water supplies in the United States come from a variety of sources (such as groundwater and surface water), but factors like population growth and extended droughts are stressing these supplies in some regions. Consequently, new strategies are needed to help meet future water demands and develop more sustainable water supplies. One such strategy is DPR, in which treated wastewater is used to augment public water supplies.
There are two forms of planned DPR. In the first form, advanced treated water produced in an advanced water treatment facility (AWTF) is introduced into the raw water supply immediately upstream of a drinking water treatment facility (DWTF). To date, permitted operational DPR projects in the United States involve the use of this form of DPR. In the second form, finished water produced in an AWTF that is also permitted as a DWTF is introduced directly into a drinking water supply distribution system, either downstream of a DWTF or within the distribution system. Because of the many unknowns associated with the management of finished water, this form of DPR will require additional studies by agencies to demonstrate the feasibility and safety of the practice.
As interest in potable reuse has grown, so has the need for providing guidelines for DPR; however, national guidance or regulations do not exist currently. In 2010, the California State Legislature signed into law SB 918, which requires DDW to report by December 31, 2016, on the feasibility of developing statewide criteria for DPR.
On behalf of DDW, the National Water Research Institute (NWRI) in 2013 appointed state and national water industry experts to an independent, third-party Expert Panel to provide advice and guidance on determining the feasibility of developing criteria for DPR. The 12-member Expert Panel is supported by DDW and administered by NWRI.
Per the California Water Code Section 13560-13569, the DPR Expert Panel is charged with the following:
- Advise DDW on public health issues and scientific and technical matters regarding the feasibility of developing criteria for DPR.
- Assess what, if any, additional areas of research are needed for establishing criteria for DPR.
The DPR Expert Panel is scheduled to produce a draft report on the “Feasibility of Developing Criteria for DPR” by June 2016. To fulfill its charge and finish the report, the Panel will need the most up-to-date information on current research and activities pertaining to DPR in the United States.
Remembering Bob Cooper
The Specialty Seminar is dedicated to the memory of Robert C. Cooper, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus at UC Berkeley School of Public Health, who passed away in February 2015. A pioneer in water recyling, Dr. Cooper taught three generations of environmental engineers and environmental health microbiologists about the relationship between managing water and wastewater and the control of infectious diseases, thereby setting the stage for the work underway currently in the water recycling field.
The SPH would like to continue Dr. Cooper's legacy by supporting the students who will follow in his footsteps. The SPH is accepting donations in memory of Dr. Cooper. Funding will be used to support Public Health educational programs and students. To donate online, visit the SPH Annual Fund Page at www.give.berkeley.edu/robertcooper and follow the instructions to donate in memory of Dr. Cooper.
Throughout his long career as a professor, researcher, and public servant, Dr. Cooper stressed the importance of water recycling based on an impartial, science-based assessment of public health risks. He excelled at effectively balancing the relationship between research and its application in the real world, a skill that has proved essential in the advancement of recycled water in California.
Dr. Cooper served as the Principal Investigator on two key water recycling investigations: the Monterey Wastewater Reclamation Agricultural Use Virus Study and the San Diego Total Resource Recovery Health Effects Study. These efforts greatly advanced the science and practice of water recycling for food crop irrigation and IPR, respectively.