The state of Colorado expects to double its population by the year 2050, adding to demands on the state’s most precious resource (water). The state Colorado Water Plan lays out strategies to address projected gaps in water supply and demand, and direct potable reuse (DPR) is one of those strategies. DPR involves an extensive public outreach process and the installation of advanced water purification steps to ensure that wastewater can be safely reused for drinking water. There are no system-wide or regularly used DPR systems in Colorado currently, but some utilities have pilot projects to showcase DPR's ability to address water needs for future generations.
While DPR is not prohibited in the state, there are no federal or state regulations for DPR. Setting minimum requirements and oversight for DPR ensures consistency and helps ensure thorough public outreach. Regulated entities have requested that the division begin developing a DPR-specific rule through an engagement process. The addition of a DPR rule will allow water systems across the state to partner with CDPHE to properly plan and communicate with their public about what is needed to safely accomplish DPR. Stakeholders have been active in helping to develop the appropriate background for a Colorado DPR Rule. They have supported the development of a key guidelines document authored by the National Water Research Institute and an independent panel of national experts (December 2019).
The department will host virtual stakeholder meetings with public members and regulated entities to obtain feedback and begin drafting a DPR rule within the Colorado Primary Drinking Water Regulations (Regulation 11).
Click on the timeline image below to enlarge.
How to get involved
The proposed schedule for the outreach and rulemaking process is as follows:
- Host a virtual kick-off stakeholder meeting to inform the regulated community and gather additional feedback.
- Form several working groups to help develop specific portions of the proposed rule. If you have signed up for a working group and you do not receive an email regarding meeting schedules by April 28, 2021, contact Tyson Ingels at email@example.com.
- The department anticipates the outreach process will last through 2021 and the rule-making process will be complete by 2023.
The division hosted a virtual kick-off meeting on March 16, 2021, and hosted two follow-up meetings in April and July. You can access the materials for these meetings (including the recording, chat, and presentation) in the Google drive public folder.
Considering the Implementation of Direct Potable Reuse in Colorado (White Papar) - Water Environment Research Foundation
Advancing Direct Potable Reuse to Optimize Water Supplies and Meet Future Demands - Water Reuse Colorado & Carollo Engineers
WaterReuse Colorado Direct Potable Reuse Project - Pure Water Colorado
Guidelines for Direct Potable Reuse in Colorado - National Water Research Institute