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Municipal Water Reuse

Treated municipal wastewater or “reclaimed water” may be used for irrigation or other beneficial uses as an exempt use without a water use permit issued by the Department, under certain conditions.  The reclaimed water must first be treated and discharged under either a national pollutant discharge elimination system (NPDES) or water pollution control facilities (WPCF) permit issued by the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ).  The reclaimed water may be retained in a pond or lagoon without a reservoir permit prior to reuse.  But depending on the size of the retention structure, WRD approval of the engineering plans may be required.  In addition, the person intending to use the reclaimed water as an exempt use must first complete and file a Municipal Reclaimed Water Registration Form with DEQ for its approval.

Reclaimed water as defined in ORS 537.131, 540.510 and 540.610, is water that has been used for municipal purposes and after such use has been treated in a treatment works (NPDES or WPCF), and that as a result is suitable for direct beneficial use that could not otherwise occur.

Per ORS 537.132, a registration of municipal reclaimed water provides an exemption from the permitting requirements that would otherwise be required for the beneficial reuse of that water. Currently, a registration of reclaimed water does not have any fee associated with it.

More Information

​Per ORS 537.13​2 (2) , any person using or intending to use reclaimed water shall file a registration of reclaimed water.

​A registration of Municipal Reclaimed Water must include the following elements required under ORS 537.132:

  • A National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) or Water Pollution Control Facility (WPCF) permit number issued by Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ).
  • A complete registration of Municipal Reclaimed Water form signed by both the applicant (user of reclaimed water) and supplier of the reclaimed water.
  • A completed DEQ section page signed and filled out by DEQ.
  • A map of water right showing the intended place of use with acreage.
  • ​Each person using or intending to use reclaimed water completes a separate registration form and submits it to DEQ along with an application for a NPDES or WPCF permit.
  • DEQ will review the application and confirm with Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife that the use of the reclaimed water will improve stream water quality, and that the reuse will not have a significant impact on fish life before approving the application.
  • DEQ will send the signed application to Oregon Water Resources Department’s reuse coordinator in Salem.
  • The reuse coordinator then has 60 days to approve or deny the registration.
  • If the registration is approved, the reuse coordinator will enter the registration into WRIS under the file ID RM - ###.

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