Senator Proposes Bill to Promote Expansion of On-Site Water Reuse
(by Melissa Hartman) – San Francisco state Sen. Scott Wiener announced a new bill on Thursday that will expand water recycling in California by developing on-site water use regulations.
Senate Bill 966 focuses on on-site water recycling that occurs in individual buildings, as opposed to utility scale water recycling due to the need to combat “a lack of state permitting standards.”
Wiener proposed a senate bill last year that did not move forward, which has been adapted into SB 966 to promote expansion of water reuse.
SB 966, which is coauthored by Wiener’s colleagues in assemblymembers Cristina Garcia and Blanca Rubio, would allow local communities to expand the use of graywater, blackwater, rainwater, stormwater, foundation drainage and other reused water by requiring state water board to issue more comprehensive regulations.
The oversight for this treatment of water for non-potable use developed through the senate bill will be risk-based and focused on public health, according to a memo issued about the senate bill from Wiener’s office.
Wiener said that in the last year he has been working with the water board, advocates and local environmental health agencies to strengthen this legislation.
“California has a structural water shortage, and water recycling is a key part of our state’s future,” Wiener said in a statement. “California is so far behind on water recycling, and we must take aggressive steps to
Wiener said that the senate bill would give businesses clear standards on how to permit these systems for designing new technologies that could help minimize the state’s contribution to climate change.
Officials from Wiener’s office say that on-site water reuse could be used even in places with centralized water recycling because it serves as a fiscally-intelligent alternative to paying for an upgrade to replace outdated piping infrastructure.
The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, WateReuse and the US Green Building Council all supported Wiener’s bill.