Ground Water Recharge Using Waters of Impaired Quality

Committee on Ground Water Recharge

Water Science and Technology Board

Commission on Geosciences, Environment, and Resources

National Academy Press
Washington, D.C.
1994



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Ground Water Recharge Using Waters of Impaired Quality Ground Water Recharge Using Waters of Impaired Quality Committee on Ground Water Recharge Water Science and Technology Board Commission on Geosciences, Environment, and Resources National Academy Press Washington, D.C. 1994

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Ground Water Recharge Using Waters of Impaired Quality 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 committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competencies and with regard for appropriate balance. This report has been reviewed by a group other than the authors according to procedures approved by a Report Review Committee consisting of members of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. Support for this project was provided by the Bureau of Reclamation Grant No. 1-FG-81-18250, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Grant No. CX-818588-01-0, West Basin Municipal Water District, Water Replenishment District of Southern California, Orange County Water District, and National Water Research Institute. Library of Congress Catalog Card No. 94-66774 International Standard Book Number 0-309-05142-8 Additional copies of this report are available from: National Academy Press 2101 Constitution Avenue, N.W. Box 285 Washington, D.C. 20055 800-624-6242, 202-334-3313 (in the Washington Metropolitan Area) B-463 Copyright 1994 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Original cover art by Marilyn Kirkman, Arati Artists Gallery, Colorado Springs, Colorado Printed in the United States of America

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Ground Water Recharge Using Waters of Impaired Quality COMMITTEE ON GROUND WATER RECHARGE JULIAN ANDELMAN, Chair, University of Pittsburgh HERMAN BOUWER, U.S. Water Conservation Laboratory, Phoenix, Arizona RANDALL CHARBENEAU, University of Texas at Austin RUSSELL CHRISTMAN, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill JAMES CROOK, Black & Veatch, Cambridge, Massachusetts ANNA FAN, California Environmental Protection Agency, Berkeley DENISE FORT, University of New Mexico WILFORD GARDNER, University of California, Berkeley WILLIAM JURY, University of California, Riverside DAVID MILLER, Geraghty & Miller, Inc., Plainview, New York ROBERT PITT, University of Alabama at Birmingham GORDON ROBECK, Water Consultant, Laguna Hills, California (until February 1993, see page vii) HENRY VAUX, JR., University of California, Berkeley JOHN VECCHIOLI, U.S. Geological Survey, Tallahassee, Florida MARYLYNN YATES, University of California, Riverside National Research Council Staff CHRIS ELFRING, Study Director ANITA HALL, Project Assistant ETAN GUMERMAN, Research Intern ROSEANNE PRICE, Editor

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Ground Water Recharge Using Waters of Impaired Quality WATER SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY BOARD DANIEL A. OKUN, Chair, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill A. DAN TARLOCK, Vice Chair, Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago-Kent College of Law J. DAVID ALLEN, Chevron U.S.A., Inc., New Orleans, Loiusiana PATRICK L. BREZONIK, University of Minnesota, St. Paul KENNETH D. FREDERICK, Resources for the Future, Washington, D.C. DAVID L. FREYBERG, Stanford University, Stanford, California WILFORD R. GARDNER, University of California, Berkeley LYNN R. GOLDMAN, California Department of Health Services, Emeryville, California WILLIAM L. GRAF, Arizona State University, Tempe THOMAS M. HELLMAN, Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, New York, New York ROBERT J. HUGGETT, College of William and Mary, Gloucester Point, Virginia CHARLES C. JOHNSON, Jr., U.S. Public Health Service, Washington, D.C. (Retired) WILLIAM M. LEWIS, JR., University of Colorado, Boulder CAROLYN H. OLSEN, Brown and Caldwell, Atlanta, Georgia CHARLES R. O'MELIA, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland STAVROS S. PAPADOPULOS, S. S. Papadopulos & Associates, Inc., Rockville, Maryland BRUCE E. RITTMANN, Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois JOY B. ZEDLER, San Diego State University, San Diego Staff STEPHEN D. PARKER, Director SHEILA D. DAVID, Senior Staff Officer CHRIS ELFRING, Senior Staff Officer GARY KRAUSS, Staff Officer JACQUELINE MACDONALD, Staff Officer JEANNE AQUILINO, Administrative Specialist ANITA A. HALL, Administrative Assistant GREGORY NYCE, Senior Project Assistant MARY BETH MORRIS, Senior Project Assistant ANGELA BRUBAKER, Project Assistant ETAN GUMERMAN, Research Intern

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Ground Water Recharge Using Waters of Impaired Quality COMMISSION ON GEOSCIENCES, ENVIRONMENT, AND RESOURCES M. GORDON WOLMAN, Chair, The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland PATRICK R. ATKINS, Aluminum Company of America, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania PETER EAGLESON, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge EDWARD A. FRIEMAN, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla, California W. BARCLAY KAMB, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena JACK E. OLIVER, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York FRANK L. PARKER, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee RAYMOND A. PRICE, Queen's University at Kingston, Ontario THOMAS A. SCHELLING, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland LARRY L. SMARR, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign STEVEN M. STANLEY, The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland VICTORIA J. TSCHINKEL, Landers and Parsons, Tallahassee, Florida WARREN WASHINGTON, National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado EDITH BROWN WEISS, Georgetown University Law Center, Washington, D.C. Staff STEPHEN RATTIEN, Executive Director STEPHEN D. PARKER, Associate Executive Director MORGAN GOPNIK, Assistant Executive Director JEANETTE SPOON, Administrative Officer SANDI FITZPATRICK, Administrative Associate ROBIN ALLEN, Senior Project Assistant

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Ground Water Recharge Using Waters of Impaired Quality 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. Bruce Alberts 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. Robert M. White is president of the National 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 National 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. Kenneth I. Shine 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. Bruce Alberts and Dr. Robert M. White are chairman and vice chairman, respectively, of the National Research Council.

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Ground Water Recharge Using Waters of Impaired Quality Dedication This volume is dedicated to Gordon Robeck, a member of the Committee on Ground Water Recharge, a former member of the Water Science and Technology Board, and a long-time leader in the water community, who passed away in February 1993. A member of the National Academy of Engineering and an internationally respected scientist and engineer, Mr. Robeck had a long and truly distinguished career. He was a pioneer in the provision of safe drinking water. Mr. Robeck will be greatly missed, but his contributions continue to benefit all. Mr. Robeck spent most of his life in public service, first as a researcher with the U.S. Public Health Service and later as director of the Environmental Protection Agency's Drinking Water Research Division. During his exceptional career, he received many awards, including the Meritorious Service Award from the Public Health Service in 1971; the American Water Works Association Medal for Outstanding Service in 1979; and the EPA Gold Medal for Exceptional Service in 1978. As noted by his friend James M. Symons: "Gordon received many professional honors, and he enjoyed them, but he never sought them, nor thought them too important. What he did think was important was to have an impact—to make a difference... And he did make a difference: for me, for Cincinnati, for the field, and for all those people who now have better quality drinking water thanks to his efforts."

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Ground Water Recharge Using Waters of Impaired Quality Preface Water is increasingly in short supply, especially in the arid and semiarid West, and we as a nation are in a continual search for innovative ways to improve the efficiency with which we manage this critical resource. The growing demand for water, both in the United States and elsewhere around the world, has brought an increasing appreciation for the earth's vast ground water supplies. We look to underground aquifers not just as sources of supply, but as vast storage facilities that give us great management flexibility at relatively affordable cost. One element of a strategy to improve our management of ground water resources is the use of artificial recharge—where excess water is directed purposely into the ground to rebuild or augment ground water supplies. As artificial recharge has increased in popularity, managers have begun to search for additional sources of recharge water. A critical question is whether we might be able to use waters of impaired quality—given appropriate pretreatment, posttreatment, and treatment gained from sod and aquifer processes—to expand our capability to carry out artificial recharge and whether the water recovered from such systems is suitable for potable as well as nonpotable uses. The Committee on Ground Water Recharge was established by the Water Science and Technology Board of the National Research Council to study the potential of artificial recharge of ground water using source waters of impaired quality, specifically treated municipal wastewater, stormwater runoff, and irrigation return flow. The issues addressed include source water characteristics, treatment technologies, health effects, fate and transport of contaminants, and the sustainability of recharge systems. This report is our attempt to compile a general guide that might be of assistance to federal, state, and local officials and

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Ground Water Recharge Using Waters of Impaired Quality water managers as they face decisions about the feasibility of proposed recharge projects. The Committee on Ground Water Recharge consisted of 15 members with experience in engineering, soil science, hydrology, public health, microbiology, economics, law, and other related fields. We gained insights from a far larger group by inviting guests to our meetings, conducting case studies, and reviewing the literature at great length. Appendix A acknowledges some of the community who assisted our project. In particular, however, I want to express my great appreciation to each committee member—each gave significant time and energy to create this report. I also want to thank the staff of the Water Science and Technology Board, especially Chris Elfring, study director, and Anita Hall, project assistant. I would also like to thank the study's sponsors: the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, the Water Replenishment District of Southern California, California's Orange County Water District, California's West Basin Municipal Water District, and the National Water Research Institute. Without this support, the study could not have been completed. The committee's deliberations touch on many issues. The recommendations focus on broad issues, rather than the site-specific details associated with the great variety of possible recharge locations, source waters, and regions. We hope that our report will help move the nation forward in its ability to benefit from the potential offered by artificial recharge. Julian Andelman, Chair Committee on Ground Water Recharge

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Ground Water Recharge Using Waters of Impaired Quality Contents     SUMMARY   1 1   AN INTRODUCTION TO ARTIFICIAL RECHARGE   12     A Primer on Artificial Recharge   13     Environmental Effects   30     Summary   33     References   34 2   SOURCE WATERS AND THEIR TREATMENT   35     Municipal Wastewater   36     Disinfection   52     Urban Stormwater Runoff   60     Irrigation Return Flow   78     Summary   86     References   91 3   SOIL AND AQUIFER PROCESSES   97     Conditions Influencing Pretreatment   98     General Description of Subsurface Processes   100     Important Soil-Aquifer Properties   109     Undesirable Soil Characteristics   111     Transport and Fate of Specific Constituents of Recharge Water   114     Sustainability of the SAT System   122     Performance and Compliance Monitoring   124

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Ground Water Recharge Using Waters of Impaired Quality     Summary   127     References   128 4   PUBLIC HEALTH ISSUES   132     Risk Assessment Methodology, Approaches, and Interpretation   134     Studies of Health Impacts   136     Chemical Constituents of Concern   143     Microorganisms of Concern   153     Risks from Disinfectants and Disinfection By-Products Versus Risks from Pathogens   168     Health Implications from Nonpotable Uses   170     Summary   173     References   175 5   ECONOMIC, LEGAL, AND INSTITUTIONAL CONSIDERATIONS   179     Economic Issues   179     Legal Issues   186     Institutional Issues   201     Public Attitudes Toward the Use of Reclaimed Water   204     Summary   207     References   208 6   SELECTED ARTIFICIAL RECHARGE PROJECTS   211     Water Factory 21, Orange County, California   212     Montebello Forebay Ground Water Recharge Project, Los Angeles, California   217     Phoenix, Arizona, Projects   222     El Paso, Texas, Recharge Project   233     Long Island, New York, Recharge Basins   240     Orlando Area, Florida, Stormwater Drainage Wells   245     Dan Region Reclamation and Reuse Project, Metropolitan Tel Aviv, Israel   251     References   258 7   CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS   260     Artificial Recharge: A Viable Option   261     Potential Impaired Quality Sources   262     Human Health Concerns   264     System Management and Monitoring   266     Economic Considerations   267     Legal and Institutional Considerations   268

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Ground Water Recharge Using Waters of Impaired Quality     APPENDIXES         A Acknowledgements   273     B Biographical Sketches of Committee Members   275     C Glossary   279

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