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Recycled Water: Regulations and Guidance

Last Update: April 14, 2014


  • Water Code sections 13560-13569 [SB 918 (Pavley), 2010, and SB 322 (Hueso), 2013] require (1) the adoption of regulations groundwater replenishment with recycled water, (2) surface water augmenation with recycled water, and (3) a report to the Legislature on the feasibility of developing uniform water recycling criteria for direct potable reuse,  Information on these activities is presented below. 
  • Follow these links for more on the Advisory Group and Expert Panel, appointed pursuant to the statutory requirements mentioned above.

Requirement for Regulations - Groundwater Replenishment with Recycled Water

Water Code section 13562.5 (see section 15 of SB 104, which was signed into law March 1, 2014) requires CDPH to adopt revised groundwater replenishment regulations by June 30, 2014 as emergency regulations.

CDPH's regulations will address groundwater replenishment for aquifers designated as sources of drinking water using recycled water from domestic wastewater sources. In 2011, CDPH released revised draft regulations and held workshops throughout the state, and requested written comments from all interested parties. CDPH reviewed the comments and revised the draft regulations accordingly.  The remainder of the regulation package is being completed, based on this latest draft: Groundwater Replenishment with Recycled Water - June 26, 2013 draft regulations (PDF) Opens new browser window.Once adopted, these regulations will replace existing regulations, which were adopted in 1978.  For more information, contact Mike McKibben or Randy Barnard.

In the meantime, proposed projects for groundwater replenishment with recycled water continue to move forward.

Requirement for Regulations - Surface Water Augmentation with Recycled Water

Water Code section 13562 requires CDPH to adopt regulations for surface water augmentation by December 31, 2016.  The Expert Panel will provide advice on developing criteria for indirect potable reuse through surface water augmentation.  The Advisory Group provided input to CDPH on selection of members of the Expert Panel.

In the meantime, work continues to move forward on proposals for surface water augmentation with recycled water.

Requirement for Report on Feasibility of Developing Uniform Water Recycling Criteria for Direct Potable Reuse

Water Code section 13563 requires CDPH,  in consultation with the SWRCB, to investigate and report to the Legislature on the feasibility of developing uniform water recycling criteria for direct potable reuse. A public review draft report is to be made available by September 1, 2016, and a final report is to be completed by December 31, 2016. 

To assist in this activity, CDPH, with SWRCB's consultation, has appointed an Advisory Group and is establishing an Expert Panel

Existing Regulations and Statutes; Other Regulations

Guidance Documents

Other Reports

Other Information

    The draft regulations mention emerging contaminants such as endocrine disruptors, pharmaceuticals and personal care products. Click here for information on emerging contaminants.

    Memorandum of Agreement

    Contact Us

    Questions about CDPH's recycled water-related activities should be directed to Randy Barnard.

    Last modified on: 4/16/2014 12:37 PM