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Committee on the Assessment of Water Reuse as an Approach for Meeting Future Water Supply Needs Water Science and Technology Board Division on Earth and Life Studies
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THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS 500 Fifth Street, NW Washington, DC 20001 NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the panel responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance. Support for this study was provided by the Environmental Protection Agency under contract number EP-C-09-003: TO#7, the National Science Foundation under grant number CBET-0924454, the National Water Research Institute under grant number 08-KM-006, the U.S. Bureau of Reclama- tion under grant number R11AP81325, the Water Research Foundation under agreement 04276:PF, and the Monterey Regional Water Pollution Control Agency. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the organizations or agencies that provided support for the project. International Standard Book Number-13: 978-0-309-25749-7 International Standard Book Number-10: 0-309-25749-2 Library of Congress Control Number: 2012936028 Additional copies of this report are available from the National Academies Press, 500 Fifth Street, NW, Keck 360, Washington, DC 20001; (800) 624-6242 or (202) 334-3313; http://www.nap.edu. Copyright 2012 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America
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The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Charles M. Vest is president of the Na- tional Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the Na- tional Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Harvey V. Fineberg is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy’s purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone and Dr. Charles M. Vest are chair and vice chair, respectively, of the National Research Council. www.national-academies.org
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COMMITTEE ON THE ASSESSMENT OF WATER REUSE AS AN APPROACH TO MEETING FUTURE WATER SUPPLY NEEDS RHODES R. TRUSSELL, Chair, Trussell Technologies, Pasadena, California HENRY A. ANDERSON, Wisconsin Division of Public Health, Madison, Wisconsin EDMUND G. ARCHULETA, El Paso Water Utilities PSB, El Paso, Texas JAMES CROOK, Environmental Engineering Consultant, Norwell, Massachusetts JÖRG E. DREWES, Colorado School of Mines, Golden, Colorado DENISE D. FORT, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, New Mexico CHARLES N. HAAS, Drexel University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania BRENT M. HADDAD, University of California, Santa Cruz, California DUANE B. HUGGETT, University of North Texas, Denton, Texas SUNNY JIANG, University of California, Irvine, California DAVID L. SEDLAK, University of California, Berkeley, California SHANE A. SNYDER, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona MARGARET H. WHITTAKER, ToxServices LLC, Washington, D.C. DALE WHITTINGTON, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina NRC Staff STEPHANIE E. JOHNSON, Study Director, Water Science and Technology Board SARAH E. BRENNAN, Program Assistant, Water Science and Technology Board (from July 2010) STEPHEN RUSSELL, Program Assistant (until July 2010) v
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Preface Starting in the late 19th and through most of the valuable because of the unique individual expertise and 20th century, the United States built a substantial intellect each of member brought to the task. Once infrastructure to capture fresh water and bring it to again, as it does so well, the NRC assembled a collec- our farms and cities. Although efforts to add to that tion of the nation’s best minds from a broad spectrum infrastructure continue, by most measures the amount of disciplines and assigned them to work together to of water delivered has not materially increased in the address an issue important to the nation’s future. Once past 30 years, but the U.S. population has continued to again, the process worked beautifully and, in a col- climb. The National Research Council (NRC, 2001) laborative spirit, these individuals worked together to said, “In this new century, the United States will be produce many insights none of us had as individuals challenged to provide sufficient quantities of high- when we walked into our first meeting and a report quality water to its growing population.” This report is that the committee should be proud of. part of an ongoing effort by the NRC to understand the Those who have been on an NRC committee tools the nation has available to address the challenge know that staff play a critical role in the success of the identified in that statement—in this case, the role water project. Our study director, Stephanie Johnson, is an reuse might play in the nation’s water future. amazing woman—organized, disciplined, persistent, The committee formed by the NRC’s Water Sci- able to cope with great detail, and a fabulous technical ence and Technology Board performed a critical assess- writer. She was in constant communication with all of ment of water reuse as an approach to meet future water us; reminding us of our assignments, providing us with supply needs. The report presents a brief summary of critical comments, personally writing some sections of the nation’s recent history in water use and shows that, the report, and thoroughly editing our myriad styles although reuse is not a panacea, the amount of waste- to produce a document that speaks with a single voice. water discharged to the environment is of such quantity This report would not have happened were it not for that it could play a significant role in the overall water her effort. The committee is also grateful for the assis- resource picture and complement other strategies, such tance provided by Stephen Russell and Sarah Brennan, as water conservation. The report also identifies a re- project assistants, who handled administrative details search agenda designed to help the nation progress in of the meetings, did supporting research, and aided in making the most appropriate use of the resource. report preparation. For each of us, our most precious resource is our Thanks are also due to the sponsors who provided time. This project was a substantial project, involving support for the study. This report was undertaken with eight meetings. I want to thank the members of this support from a myriad of sponsors. More than half of committee for their most generous contribution of their the study funding was provided by the Environmental personal time to this project. That time is especially Protection Agency, with the remaining funding from vii
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viii PREFACE the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, the National Science Bryan Brooks, Baylor University; Charles Gerba, Uni- Foundation, the National Water Research Institute, versity of Arizona; Jerome Gilbert, Engineering Perfec- the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the tion, PLLC; Robert Hultquist, California Department Water Research Foundation, Orange County Water of Public Health; Anna Hurlimann, The University of District, Orange County Sanitation District, Los An- Melbourne; Blanca Jimenez, Instituto de Ingenieria geles Department of Water and Power, Irvine Ranch U NAM; Stuart Khan, University of New South Water District, West Basin Water District, Inland Wales; Margaret Nellor, Nellor Environmental Asso- Empire Utilities Agency, Metropolitan Water District ciates, Inc.; Larry Roesner, Colorado State University; of Southern California, Los Angeles County Sanitation Dan Tarlock, Chicago Kent College of Law; George Districts, and the Monterey Regional Water Pollution Tchobanoglous, University of California, Davis (emeri- Control Agency. tus); Michael Wehner, Orange County Water District; The committee held meetings at several locations, and Paul Westerhoff, Arizona State University. including California, Florida, Colorado, Texas, and Although reviewers were asked to, and did, provide Washington D.C. In particular the committee would constructive comments and suggestions, they were not like to thank the individuals and agencies who gave asked to endorse the conclusions and recommendations presentations and provided tours to help the committee nor did they see the final draft of the report before its in its deliberations (see Acknowledgments). release. The review of this report was overseen by Ed- In draft form the report was reviewed by individu- ward Bouwer, Johns Hopkins University, and Michael als chosen for their breadth of perspective and technical Kavanaugh, Geosyntec Consultants. Appointed by the expertise in accordance with the procedures approved NRC, they were responsible for making certain that an by the National Academies’ Report Review Committee. independent examination of this report was carried out The purpose of this independent review was to provide in accordance with NRC procedures and that all review candid and critical comments to assist the NRC in en- comments received full consideration. Responsibility suring that the final report is scientifically credible and for the final content of this report rests entirely with that it meets NRC standards for objectivity, evidence, the authoring committee and the NRC. and responsiveness to the study charge. The reviewer comments and the draft manuscript remain confiden- R. Rhodes Trussell, Chair tial to protect the deliberative process. We thank the Committee on the Assessment of following reviewers for their criticisms, advice, and in- Water Reuse as an Approach for sight, all of which were considered and many of which Meeting Future Water Supply Needs were wholly or partly incorporated in the final report:
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Acknowledgments Many individuals assisted the committee and the Josh Johnson, Senate Committee on Energy and National Research Council staff in their task to create Natural Resources this report. We would like to express our appreciation Rai Kookana, CSIRO Land and Water, Australia to the following people who have provided presenta- Mark LeChevallier, American Water tions to the committee and served as guides during the Audrey Levine, U.S. Environmental Protection field trips: Agency Mong Hoo Lim, Public Utilities Board, Singapore Richard Atwater, Inland Empire Utilities Agency Dean Marrone, U.S. Bureau of Reclamation Jared Bales, U.S. Geological Survey James McDaniel, Los Angeles Department of Water Robert Bastian, U.S. Environmental Protection and Power Agency Mark Millan, Data Instincts Curt Brown, U.S. Bureau of Reclamation Wade Miller, WateReuse Foundation Shonnie Cline, AWWA Research Foundation David Moore, Southwest Florida Water Management Glenn Clingenpeel, Trinity River Authority District Betsy Cody, Congressional Research Service John Morris, Metropolitan Water District of Phil Cross, Conserv II Southern California James Dobrowolski, U.S. Department of Agriculture Jeff Mosher, National Water Research Institute Mark Elsner, Southwest Florida Water Management Lynn Orphan, Clean Water Coalition District Pankaj Parekh, Los Angeles Department of Water Chris Ferraro, Florida Department of Environmental and Power Protection Larry Parsons, University of Florida James Franckiewicz, U.S. Agency for International Mark Pifher, Aurora Water Development Robert Quint, U.S. Bureau of Reclamation Bertha Goldenberg, Miami-Dade Water and Sewer Mark Sees, Orlando Easterly Wetlands Department Peter Silva, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Brian Good, Denver Water Mark Squillace, University of Colorado Law School Bruce Hamilton, National Science Foundation Marsi Steirer, City of San Diego Department of Larry Honeybourne, Orange County Health Care Water Agency Frank Stephens, Gwinnett County Water Resources Martin Jekel, Technical University of Berlin, Ray Tremblay, Los Angeles County Sanitation Germany Districts ix
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x ACKNOWLEDGMENTS Bob Vincent, Florida Department of Health Dan Woltering, Water Environment Research Joe Waters, West Basin Municipal Water District Foundation Michael Wehner, Orange County Water District Max Zarate-Bermudez, U.S. Center for Disease Ron Wildermuth, Orange County Water District Control Hal Wilkening, Southwest Florida Water Management District We would also like to thank Sangam Tiwari, Trussell Technologies, Inc. for her detailed verification of the risk exemplar.
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Contents REPORT SUMMARY 1 1 A NEW ERA OF WATER MANAGEMENT 9 Population Growth and Water Supply, 9 New Approaches to Water Management, 10 Current Challenges, 15 Statement of Committee Task and Report Overview, 17 Conclusion, 19 2 CURRENT STATE OF WATER REUSE 21 Context for Water Reuse, 21 Planned Nonpotable Water Reuse Applications, 28 Potable Water Reuse, 38 Extent of Water Reuse, 49 Conclusions and Recommendations, 52 3 WATER QUALITY 55 Pathogens, 55 Inorganic Chemicals, 58 Organic Chemicals, 61 Conclusions, 66 4 WASTEWATER RECLAMATION TECHNOLOGY 67 Preliminary, Primary, and Secondary Treatment, 67 Disinfection, 70 Advanced Engineered Treatment, 71 Engineered Natural Processes, 78 Conclusions, 86 5 ENSURING WATER QUALITY IN WATER RECLAMATION 87 Design Principles to Ensure Quality and Reliability, 87 Operational Principles to Assure Quality and Reliability, 92 xi
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xii CONTENTS Steps to Ensure Water Quality in Water Reuse, 97 Conclusions and Recommendations, 98 6 UNDERSTANDING THE RISKS 101 Introduction to the Risk Framework, 103 Context for Understanding Waterborne Illnesses and Outbreaks, 105 Hazard Identification, 106 Water Reuse Exposure Assessment, 109 Dose-Response Assessments, 112 Risk Characterization, 115 Consideration of Uncertainty, 119 Conclusions and Recommendations, 121 7 EVALUATING THE RISKS OF POTABLE REUSE IN CONTEXT 123 Previous NRC Assessments of Reuse Risks, 123 The Risk Exemplar, 124 Conclusions, 130 8 ECOLOGICAL ENHANCEMENT VIA WATER REUSE 133 Potential Concerns about Environmental Applications, 133 Approaches for Assessing Ecological Risks of Reclaimed Water, 137 Conclusions and Recommendations, 142 9 COSTS 145 Financial and Economic Costs, 145 Factors Affecting the Financial Costs of Water Reuse Projects, 146 Nonmonetized Costs and Benefits of Reuse, 153 Reported Reuse Costs, 154 Comparative Costs of Supply Alternatives, 159 Reclaimed Water Rates, 159 Conclusions and Recommendations, 162 10 SOCIAL, LEGAL, AND REGULATORY ISSUES AND OPPORTUNITIES 165 Water Rights, 165 The Federal Water Quality Regulatory Framework, 169 Water Reuse Regulations and Guidelines, 176 Public Involvement and Attitudes, 186 Conclusions, 189 11 RESEARCH NEEDS 193 Research Priorities, 193 Federal and Nonfederal Roles, 198 Conclusions, 202
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xiii CONTENTS REFERENCES 203 ACRONYMS 227 APPENDIXES A Details in Support of the Risk Exemplar in Chapter 6 233 B Computation of Average Daily Dose 249 C Survey of Water Reclamation Costs 251 D Water Science and Technology Board 257 E Biographical Sketches of Committee Members 259
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