American Water Works Association (AWWA)

AWWA policy: Reclaimed water for public water supply purposes


The following revised AWWA Policy Statement on Reclaimed Water for Public Water Supply Purposes has been approved by the Technical and Educational Council for member comment.

Comments on the policy statement will be reviewed by AWWA staff and forwarded to the Executive Committee if the comments are minor or referred back to the originating body if the comments are substantive. Policies forwarded to the Executive Committee will be reviewed and, if approved, forwarded to the Board of Directors for final action.

Reclaimed Water for Public Water Supply Purposes

Adopted by the Board of Directors June 18, 1971, and revised June 25, 1978, Jan. 26, 1986, Jan. 22, 1995, and June 13, 2004, and Jan 17, 2010. Revised Jan. 19, 2014.

AWWA recognizes the need for reliable and sustainable water supply resources in light of factors such as drought, competition with other users, population growth, climate change impacts, ecological needs, and limited natural availability. Wastewater reclamation produced through appropriate treatment, monitoring, and control can be a resource for broadening the water supply portfolio of utilities.

AWWA recognizes the value of high quality reclaimed wastewater - properly treated to appropriate standards - as a sustainable supplement to a region’s water supply portfolio. Reclaiming wastewater to augment supplies used for irrigation, industrial, ecological, and municipal uses within a public drinking water supplier’s service area has been successful in many places. Additionally, reclaiming water from wastewater for direct or indirect potable uses such as augmenting finished water, replenishing drinking water sources, maintaining aquifer levels, and increasing stream flow can be a viable option with the appropriate level of treatment and safeguards to protect public health.

AWWA promotes the efficient use of all potable and non-potable water regardless of origin or purpose.

AWWA encourages expanding water supply portfolios for communities through the use of reclaimed water.

Practices specified in this policy statement are consistent with other pertinent AWWA policy statements.

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