Zone 7 board OKs funding study for using recycled water as drinking water

Tri-Valley agencies commission research into treating wastewater for consumption

Tri-Valley water agencies are expected to kick off a nearly $1 million study later this month that will examine the feasibility of advanced water recycling for human consumption.

The Zone 7 Board of Directors approved a resolution late last month authorizing its general manager to contract with Carollo Engineers for the Tri-Valley Potable Reuse Feasibility Study.

The estimated budget for the consulting services is $850,000, to be shared among the Tri-Valley water agencies, with Zone 7's portion equaling roughly $300,000, according to a board memo. The budget includes a $95,000 contingency.

Approval of the study follows Zone 7's water supply evaluation update, which was completed in February and underscored a need to pursue water supply options to improve the area's long-term supply. Elected representatives from Zone 7, Dublin San Ramon Services District and local cities also met in February and expressed support for a more detailed study of potable reuse.

The primary goals of the study are to evaluate the feasibility of advanced water recycling, identify the most promising options based on financial, technical and other considerations and recommend next steps for the agencies.

The study will further evaluate options for using highly-treated wastewater for drinking, including groundwater recharge, surface water augmentation and blending and connection upstream of the Zone 7 surface water treatment plants for additional treatment. Direct potable reuse, through which the treated wastewater system is connected to the water transmission system, is not being considered at this time based on input from Tri-Valley officials.

The study should be completed by the end of 2017, at which point it will be presented to the governing bodies of the local water agencies for their input and possible actions. Consultants will also participate in community outreach events and presentations at milestones in the study.

For more information, visit Zone 7 online.

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