Hampton Roads Sanitation District (HRSD) provides high quality wastewater treatment services to 17 cities and counties in southeast Virginia, an area with a population of 1.6 million. Each day approximately 165 million gallons of wastewater are collected, cleaned, and returned to the local waterways. This highly treated wastewater, also known as effluent, is disinfected to protect public health before discharge to area waterways. HRSD wants to ensure wastewater is not wasted water so it actively supports and promotes water reuse. The following is an overview of the numerous benefits of this practice.
What Is Water Reuse?
Water reuse is defined as the use of reclaimed water for a direct beneficial purpose (Va AWWA-VWEA, 2000). Water reuse has been employed as a conservation practice in Florida, California, Texas, Arizona, and other states for many years.(1)
What is Reclaimed Water?
Reclaimed water is domestic, municipal, or industrial wastewater that is treated to standards that allow for its safe reuse. This water is safe for incidental human contact and for many everyday needs. Reclaimed water is not pure enough to drink, and differs from gray water, which is untreated wastewater from bathing or washing.
Why Reuse Water?
Water reuse conserves the drinking water supplies while maintaining the Chesapeake Bay’s health. At a cost to the consumer that is generally less than drinking water, reclaimed water is a bargain.
What is the Future of Water Reuse in HRSD’s Service Area?
Virginia, which is now one of many states to recognize the value of reclaimed water, has developed a water reclamation and reuse regulation. This will help localities follow the Commonwealth’s policy to promote and encourage the reclamation and reuse of wastewater in a manner protective of the environment and public health. Once this regulation is established, our communities, as well as our citizens, will be well-positioned to promote and develop the use of reclaimed water for the benefit of our growing population and our environment.
HRSD is now partnering with localities in determining how water reuse can produce the most positive environmental and economic outcomes. This includes ensuring that the needs of both large municipalities and rural communities are met through such innovative strategies as satellite water reclamation facilities.
- Reclaimed Water: A Valuable Resource
- Water Reuse: A Strategy to Protect Our Natural Resources
- Water Reuse: A Facilitator of Economic Growth
- Water Reuse: Planning for the Future
- Virginia's First Industrial Water Reuse Project
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's)
- Water Reuse Jargon
- Research Reports
- News Clippings
For additional information or to share your comments, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 757-460-4244.