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Recycled Water

Recycled water refers to the treated effluent generated from a municipal wastewater treatment system that as a result of treatment is suitable for a direct beneficial purpose. Recycled water may be permitted by DEQ for use in beneficial purposes that are protective of human health, the environment, and provide a resource benefit.

Fact Sheet: Reusing Water in Oregon


The Oregon Environmental Quality Commission and the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality encourage the use of recycled water for domestic, agricultural, industrial, recreational, and other beneficial purposes in a manner which protects public health and the environment of the state. The use of recycled water can improve water quality by reducing discharge of treated effluent to surface waters, reducing the demand on drinking water sources for uses not requiring potable water, and may conserve stream flows by reducing withdrawal of out-of-stream use.

Regulations and guidelines

Recycled Water Use is regulated by DEQ under Oregon Administrative Rules (OAR) Chapter 340, Division 55, which prescribes methods, procedures, restrictions, treatment, and monitoring requirements for the beneficial use of reclaimed water. DEQ has developed a guidance document for use by DEQ staff involved with the permitting of recycled water projects.

Recycled water use, also called reclaimed water, must be registered with the Oregon Water Resources Department. 
The Oregon Department of Human Services is concerned with the public health aspects of recycled water use and reviews recycled water use plans when Class C, D, or nondisinfected water is reused. 


The use of recycled water requires:

  • A NPDES or WPCF permit issued by DEQ;
  • A Recycled Water Use Plan (template under development); and
  • Registration of Recycled Water Use with the Oregon Water Resources Department [OWRD Form]
Applications for recycled water use may require one or more of the following. Applicants should contact their regional DEQ office for more information.

  • Recycled Water Use Plan Summary (applicant)
  • Information for the approval of an alternative beneficial purpose
  • Information for the approval of alternative treatment processes
  • A summary of recycled water quality and quantity
  • A Land Use Compatibility Statement at the point of reuse
  • Site specific information at the point of reuse, or
  • Registration of a UIC System


Pat Heins
Biosolids and Water Reuse Coordinator