Water Reclamation and Reuse

In Virginia, the reclamation of either municipal or industrial wastewater and reuse of the reclaimed water is regulated in accordance with the Water Reclamation and Reuse Regulation (9VAC25-740). Facilities that will typically require a permit for water reclamation and reuse include reclamation systems, satellite reclamation systems and reclaimed water distributions systems. End users of the reclaimed water will rarely be required to obtain a permit.  

A reclamation system associated with a wastewater treatment facility (WWTF) that has or will have a surface water discharge will be covered under the Virginia Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (VPDES) permit issued to the WWTF. A reclamation system associated with a WWTF that does not or will not have a surface water discharge will be covered under the Virginia Pollution Abatement (VPA) permit issued to the WWTF. Satellite reclamation systems and reclaimed water distribution systems that are independently owned or managed will generally require a VPA permit.

A cumulative impact analysis (CIA) must be considered for all new or expanding water reclamation and reuse projects that have the potential to reduce the discharge of a VPDES permitted WWTF to surface waters.  This applies to WWTFs that divert a portion or all of their discharge to a reclamation system, and to sewage collection systems that divert a portion of the sewage that they convey to a satellite reclamation system to produce reclaimed water for reuse.  CIAs for proposed water reclamation and reuse projects are performed by DEQ’s Office of Water Supply with information provided by the owner of each project.  The Office of Water Supply (OWS) will, in consultation with an applicant, determine the need for completion of a CIA based upon the scale of the reduction in the VPDES permitted discharge in relation to the receiving stream(s).  To request a CIA determination, please contact Brian McGurk in the DEQ-OWS for assistance.  Results of a CIA or evidence of a determination by OWS that a CIA is not required must be submitted with the application to authorize the water reclamation and reuse project.  To avoid delays processing an application, the project owner should complete the CIA process prior to submission of the application.

In addition to either a VPDES or VPA permit application, applicants proposing a water reclamation and reuse project must complete the Water Reclamation and Reuse Application Addendum (Application Addendum) (MS Word - 236kb) for a VPDES or VPA Permit.  The Addendum is not a stand alone application form.

For existing VPA or VPDES permitted WWTFs that will expand or modify their facilities to include water reclamation and reuse, there will be no fee in most cases, for a minor modification of a VPA permit or administrative authorization associated with a VPDES permit to add or attach standards, monitoring requirements and special conditions for water reclamation and reuse. The permittee, however, will be required to submit a complete Water Reclamation and Reuse Application Addendum with CIA results, if applicable, and possibly revised or updated information on the VPDES and VPA permit application forms.

The DEQ has two existing sources of funding for water reclamation and reuse projects. The Virginia Clean Water Revolving Loan Fund (VCWRLF) is available for such projects if they are publicly-owned and involve the treatment and reuse of municipal wastewater or sewage. The VCWRLF offers additional ranking points, as well as slightly reduced interest rates on the loans for projects that employ water reclamation and reuse technologies. The Water Quality Improvement Fund (WQIF) will reimburse the cost for design and installation of nutrient removal technology, including water reclamation and reuse, at publicly-owned treatment works that meets the nutrient reduction goal in an approved tributary strategy plan or applicable regulatory requirement, and is incurred prior to the execution of a grant agreement. Privately-owned or industrial facilities are not eligible to receive loans or cost share from VCWRL or WQIF.

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DEQ has concluded its 2018 periodic review of the Water Reclamation and Reuse Regulation.  The agency's response to comments received during the public comment period of the review and decision to retain the regulation with no changes are now available on the Virginia Regulatory Town Hall.

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Virginia Department of
Environmental Quality
P.O. Box 1105
Richmond, VA 23218
(804) 698-4000


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