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Industrial Water

Industrial water refers to the treated effluent for an industrial process, manufacturing process or business, or from the development or recovery of any natural resources. Industrial waters commonly used in water reuse programs include water derived from the processing of fruit, vegetable, or food products.

Many industrial wastewaters have resource value and may be reused. The most common industrial wastewaters reused in Oregon originate from food processing activities, including large scale industrial processes such as potato processing to smaller activities such as fruit packing or viniculture. Food processing waters often include nutrients, such as nitrogen, which may be used to supplement or replace some of the chemical fertilizer used in agriculture. However, the physical, chemical, and microbiological properties of industrial wastewater can vary widely based upon the type of industrial activities. Some industrial wastewaters may contain high concentrations of salts, metals, or other constituents that may limit reuse applications.

Regulations and guidelines

DEQ's Water Quality Program provides primary regulatory oversight of industrial wastewater reuse. Each reuse project is individually evaluated for protection of public health and the environment.


The reuse of industrial wastewater requires:
  • A NPDES or WPCF permit issued by DEQ; and
  • A Water Reuse operations plan
Applications for industrial wastewater reuse may require additional information as determined by the DEQ permit writer. Applicants should contact their regional DEQ office for more information.


Pat Heins
Biosolids and Water Reuse Coordinator