Campaign Resources: Towards a Safer More Abundant Water Supply

Instructions to Participate in this Letter-Writing/Email Campaign

We’ve written a template letter/email, which you should adapt in different ways. Please create and send separate emails or letters to each of the individuals below.  Consider adding a personal sentence about why deep water conservation using onsite water reuse/recycling in Washington is important to you (choose from our list of benefits or write your own).  We recommend adding that right up front: “I’m writing today because…” and consider bcc:ing info@recodenow.org on your email so recode can understand why this issue is important to you, too.

SEND TWO LETTERS

If you want to send a physical letter in the mail, download our template for both letters.

OR SEND TWO EMAILS

[General instructions: REPLACE OR DELETE ALL TEXT INSIDE BRACKETS (LIKE THIS) BEFORE SENDING]

[SEND AN EMAIL TO:

Clark Halvorson, Assistant Secretary, Washington Department of Health

clark.halvorson@doh.wa.gov

AND

ATTN: Dr. John Wiesman, DrPH, MPH, Secretary, Washington Department of Health

secretary@doh.wa.gov]

[USE THE EMAIL SUBJECT LINE: Permit program adoption for a safer, more abundant water supply in Washington]

[COPY AND PASTE THE FOLLOWING INTO THE BODY OF YOUR EMAIL AND ADAPT:]

Dear [INSERT RECIPIENT’S NAME HERE],

[OPTIONAL] I’m writing today because [PLEASE SAY WHY SAFER, MORE ABUNDANT WATER IN WASHINGTON IS IMPORTANT TO YOU or JUST DELETE THIS PARAGRAPH. SAY IT IN YOUR OWN WORDS OR CHOOSE FROM A LIST OF MULTI-BENEFITS]

Like all states, access to affordable, safe, and clean water in Washington is threatened by climate change and an ongoing lack of investment in water infrastructure. And, like all states, Washington relies on water to protect public health, enhance community resiliency, and drive economic development.

As water reuse technology has advanced and become financially viable, the adoption of onsite water systems in Washington is advancing and the protections around these systems must anticipate and stay ahead of these reuse systems to better protect public health.

Numerous cost-effective approaches and technologies exist, but these opportunities need a boost from Washington regulators who can ease permit pathways for onsite water reuse systems. Luckily, the tools are readily available to create state and local permit programs using water quality treatment criteria that are better able to regulate our water than the currently standards.

In 2017, the Water Research Foundation published the “Risk-Based Framework for the Development of Public Health Guidance for Decentralized Non-Potable Water Systems”. The Washington Department of Health participated in the stakeholder group for this study, vetting and/or approving this peer reviewed work.  Now, we just need to cross the finish line by adopting it for Washington.  The risk-based framework uses an internationally accepted methodology to derive pathogen reduction targets that is more protective of public health than the EPA’s current standards for centralized water systems. Model codes and ordinances provided by the National Blue Ribbon Commission for Onsite Non-potable Water Systems will help implement state and/or local permitting programs, will reduce the effort needed to develop new programs and reduce risk for water utilities.

To protect public health, community resilience, environmental quality, and economic development in Washington, we strongly urge you to develop an onsite water reuse permit program based on the work of the National Blue Ribbon Commission for Onsite Water Systems.

Sincerely,

[YOUR NAME]

[OPTIONAL: PROVIDE A BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF YOUR COMPANY OR ORGANIZATION SO THE ADDRESSEES CAN SEE THAT A VARIETY OF SECTORS ARE ENGAGED.]