Water Reuse: Clean Water Fund - EH: Minnesota Department of Health

Water Reuse
Clean Water Fund

Water reuse will be an increasingly important part of managing our water resources as demands on our water supplies continue to grow due to population increases, urbanization, climate change, and changes in water use. There are scattered examples of reclaiming municipal wastewater, stormwater, and graywater systems in Minnesota. However, those interested in reuse often run into regulatory roadblocks, technical challenges, or lacking and inconsistent regulations and standard practices.

Interagency Effort

Infographic is divided into five categories of reuse. Each category has a short description and icons indicating the quality of untreated water soruce, benefits in addition to saving water, predicatbility of source quantity. 
1) Rainwater: from rain or snow- collected directly from roof surfaces (quality=4; benefits=2; predictability=1); 2) Stormwater: from rain or snow that falls on and runs off the land or buildings (quality=3; benefits=2; predictability=1); 3) Graywater: from showers, bathroom sinks and washing machines (quality=2; benefits=1; predictability=3); 4) Wastewater: from toilets and kitchen sinks in homes and buisnesses (usually also includes graywater sources) (quality=1; benefits=3; predictability=3); 5) industrial and commercial: from building foudnation collection systems, food processing and other industrial sources (quality=1 but varies; benefits=2; predictability=3). Other pieces of information included reuses being explored: toilet flushing, vehicle washing, firefighting, dust control, spray irrigation, subsurface irrigation, aquifer recharge, drinking, shower. Also a mention that potential impact on human health is being considered - but depends on the type of reuse - so not assigned to each category.An interagency effort to develop recommendations for best practices and policies for water reuse in Minnesota is underway. Recommendations will include both regulatory and non-regulatory approaches to successful implementation of water reuse. Recommendations will be published later in 2017.

Interagency efforts include two components to ensure that water reuse can be safely and sustainably implemented in Minnesota.

Research – to evaluate current regulations, practices, and barriers, and to quantify and determine acceptable health risks associated with water reuse applications

Stakeholder Engagement – to share perspectives on opportunities and barriers to reuse, and provide guidance and feedback on policy and best practice recommendations

Stay Informed and Involved

Subscribe to Water Reuse Updates

The workgroup has been meeting on a monthly basis since January of 2016. The Water Reuse Interagency Workgroup: July 2016 Project Update (PDF) provides a brief update on the workgroup’s progress over the first six months.

Workgroup Meetings

All workgroup meetings are open to the public.

Upcoming Workgroup Meetings

October 31, 2017 - 9:00-noon - MPCA Board Room

Notes from Past Workgroup Meetings

January 2016 Notes (PDF) February 2016 Notes (PDF) March 2016 Notes (PDF) April 2016 Notes (PDF) May 2016 Notes (PDF) June 2016 Notes (PDF) July 2016 Notes (PDF) August 2016 Notes (PDF) September 2016 Notes (PDF) October 2016 Notes (PDF) November 2016 (PDF) December 2016 Notes (PDF) January 2017 Notes (PDF) February 2017 Notes (PDF) March 2017 Notes (PDF) April 2017 Notes (PDF) May 2017 Notes (PDF) June 2017 (PDF)

Stakeholder Meetings

The workgroup is convening four meetings with a Stakeholder Advisory Group. Certain organizations were invited to participate on the advisory group because of their involvement with water reuse, but anyone can participate in stakeholder meetings. The stakeholder meetings are a unique opportunity for you/your organization to provide valuable input on water reuse as options are being considered.

Upcoming Stakeholder Meetings

None at this time.

Notes from Past Stakeholder Meetings

September 2016 Notes (PDF) November 2016 Notes (PDF) March 2017 Notes (PDF)

Additional Information and Resources

The Regulatory Framework for Water Reuse in Minnesota (PDF)

Fact sheet about interagency effort - Advancing Safe and Sustainable Reuse in Minnesota (PDF)

Infographic about interagency effort - Can we reuse that?

Project Sponsors and Partners

The project is funded by the Clean Water Fund. The workgroup is comprised of representatives from Minnesota Departments of Agriculture, Health, Labor and Industry, and Natural Resources, Pollution Control Agency, Metropolitan Council, Plumbing Board, University of Minnesota Water Resources Center, and Board of Water and Soil Resources. The University of Minnesota will collect and analyze field data to support Minnesota-specific, cold-weather climate health risk assessment.

Questions and input may be directed to project coordinator Anita Anderson at 218-302-6143 or health.water.reuse.mn@state.mn.us.

Updated Monday, October 30, 2017 at 10:11AM