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Water Recycling and Title 22

Title 22 of California's Water Recycling Criteria refers to California state guidelines for how treated and recycled water is discharged and used.

The standards also require the state’s Department of Health Services to develop and enforce water and bacteriological treatment standards for water recycling and reuse.

State discharge standards for reclaimed water and its reuse are regulated by under the Water Recycling Criteria and the 1969 Porter-Cologne Water Quality Control Act–California's regulatory framework for water recycling.

Effluent treatment standards are set and enforced by the state’s nine regional water quality control boards in consultation with the California Department of Public Health. The nine regional boards are part of the State Water Resources Control Board.

Title 22 requires CDPH to develop bacteriological and treatment standards for each level of treated water that is recycled or reused. The regional water boards issue permits for individual water recycling projects in accordance with statewide criteria established by CDPH.

Revisions to Title 22 were officially adopted and published in December 2000. The revamped Title 22 lists 40 specific uses allowed with disinfected tertiary recycled water (such as irrigating parks), 24 specific uses allowed with disinfected secondary recycled water (such as irrigating animal feed and other unprocessed crops), and seven specific uses allowed with undisinfected secondary recycled water (such industrial uses).

Other allowed uses of the disinfected recycled water include: irrigation of food crops and residential landscaping, supply of recreational impoundments for unrestricted body-contact, air conditioning, commercial laundry, decorative fountains, and flushing toilets in commercial buildings.

As part of its long-term planning, the state of California aims to:

  • “Increase the use of recycled water over 2002 levels by at least one million
    acre-feet per year (afy) by 2020 and by at least two million afy by 2030.
  • Increase the use of stormwater over use in 2007 by at least 500,000 afy
    by 2020 and by at least one million afy by 2030.”

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