Improvements Coming for Reclaimed Municipal Water Use Program Registrations
Oregon Water Resources Department (OWRD) manages registrations of reclaimed municipal water in Oregon, which is defined in the Oregon Revised Statutes (ORS) 537.131 as:
“…water that has been used for municipal purposes and after such use has been treated in a treatment works…and that, as a result of treatment, is suitable for a direct beneficial purpose or a controlled use that could not otherwise occur.”
A person wishing to use this reclaimed water, for instance to irrigate a hay pasture or a golf course, is exempt under ORS 537.132 from the process of obtaining a water use permit from OWRD if the following primary conditions are met:
· The reclaimed water use must be authorized by Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) through either a national pollution discharge elimination system (NPDES) permit or a water pollution control facilities (WPCF) permit, which is generally issued to the wastewater treatment plant producing the reclaimed water suitable for reuse.
· The reclaimed water user must file a completed Reclaimed Water Registration Form with the OWRD signed by the reclaimed water user, the reclaimed water supplier, and the DEQ permit writer. There is currently no fee for filing the registration form.
Beginning in January 2016, a more effective process will be used to handle and track registrations. The completed and signed registration form will be sent from the reclaimed water user and supplier to the DEQ permit writer for their signature (not to the OWRD regional office as in the past). The DEQ will sign and forward the form onto the OWRD’s water reuse coordinator in Salem. Once received, a response letter will be sent by the OWRD to the signatories within 60 days.
The reclaimed water registration information will be housed within the OWRD’s Water Rights Information System (WRIS) and accessible to interested parties through a water right information query on the OWRD website: http://apps.wrd.state.or.us/apps/wr/wrinfo/.