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New Guidance for Direct Potable Reuse

DPRMany communities are seeking new strategies to develop sustainable water supplies. In response, several high profile water organizations jointly developed the Framework for Direct Potable Reuse, a free download designed to help State regulatory agencies and utilities develop guidelines for safely converting wastewater into municipal drinking water through the emerging practice of direct potable reuse (DPR). The Water Environment Federation (WEF), WateReuse Association, and the American Water Works Association (AWWA) worked on the downloadable document with the support of an independent advisory panel administered by the National Water Research Institute.

“The water sector is transforming wastewater treatment into full resource recovery that provides valuable, renewable products,” said WEF Executive Director Eileen O’Neill. “This framework will help communities properly vet and consider incorporating DPR into their overall water management strategy.” DPR involves the use of such advanced water treatment technologies as membranes, reverse osmosis, and advanced oxidation to remove viruses, bacteria, chemicals, and other contaminants that may be present in wastewater. Current State and Federal regulations were not developed with these technologies in mind.

The framework was prepared by a panel of seven experts with backgrounds in water and wastewater treatment, water quality policy and regulations, water resource planning, and public health risk assessment. It provides a context for DPR, including the costs, benefits, energy requirements, and comparative issues with other water sources and measures. It also examines the three key components of a DPR program including regulatory considerations to mitigate public health risks; technical issues related to the production of advanced treated water; and public support and outreach.

If you have questions about DPR, contact Scott Schaefer, PE, AE2S Wastewater Practice Leader, at Scott.Schaefer@ae2s.com.


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