Recode and International Living Future Institute are working to allow the regulatory permitting of safer, more abundant water supplies on the west coast by providing input on legislative and rule-making language in Washington and Oregon.
Jurisidictions are interested in onsite water reuse because of the many benefits that accrue, often regardless of which onsite water reuse system is implemented. Recode has developed two different but related sets of documents that explain these multi-benefits:
- Multi-benefits of adopting the Risk-based Framework (see below for more info) for permitting onsite water systems
- Multi-benefits of onsite non-potable water systems
The National Blue Ribbon Commission for Onsite Non-potable Water Systems
The National Blue Ribbon Commission for Onsite Non-potable Water Systems “advances best management practices to support the use of onsite non-potable water systems within individual buildings or at the local scale. We are committed to protecting public health and the environment, and sustainably managing water—now and for future generations.”
To that end, the commission has provided numerous tools and resources to help governmental agencies implement a permit program for onsite non-potable water systems that is more protective of public health than regulatory requirements for centralized systems. This “Risk-Based Framework for the Development of Public Health Guidance for Decentralized Non-Potable Water Systems” defines the reduction targets (called “log reduction targets” or LRTs) for a variety of different on-site waters (as well as municipal wastewater) based on the risk to human health caused by the presence of pathogens (i.e. viruses, bacteria, and protozoa).
Resources for Jurisdictions
Accompanying this publication were a substantial portfolio of detailed guidance to implement statewide and/or local permit programs, easing the permitting process for both jurisdictions and permittees:
Developing a Regulatory Permit Program
- A Guidebook for Developing and Implementing Regulations for Onsite Non-potable Water Systems. This guidebook establishes water quality criteria and standards for ONWS and presents pathways for implementation and management of these water systems at the local and/or state level.
- Technical Appendix: A Guidebook for Developing and Implementing Regulations for ONWS. Technical appendix and additional resources.
Model Codes and Regulations
These were written by leaders employed in state health and environmental regulatory departments.
- Model State Regulation for Onsite Non-potable Water Programs. Template state legislation for establishing regulatory programs for onsite non-potable water systems.
- Model Local Ordinance for Onsite Non-potable Water Programs. Template local ordinance for establishing regulatory programs for onsite non-potable water systems.
- Model Program Rules for Onsite Non-potable Water Programs. Model program rules should be established alongside state or local legislation, and regulators should modify them to meet the needs of their communities. These model program rules provide specific details on implementation of an ONWS, including system design criteria, permitting, cross-connection control, reporting, notification, and enforcement.
“Risk-Based Framework” (RBF)
- Risk-Based Framework for the Development of Public Health Guidance for Decentralized Non-Potable Water Systems. This panel report provides a risk-based framework to develop public health guidance for decentralized non-potable water systems. The RBF is more protective of public health than current EPA water quality standards for conventional systems.
- Why Adopt the RBF? Recode has developed guidance for the layperson on what the RBF is and why it needs to be adopted when using the model codes and ordinances above.