Wastewater in Smaller Communities
If you have limited water supplies or are subject to droughts, wastewater can augment what you have, provide source diversity, and boost resilience. You may also gain greater control of your source water quality, which can improve treatment efficiency.
Small System Success
Many small communities successfully recycle wastewater and put that water to use. For example, Sequim, Wash., a town serving about 9,000 customers, uses highly treated municipal wastewater to irrigate city landscaping and playing fields, water a fish pond, flush toilets, recharge groundwater, and supply water to fire hydrants. Wastewater also allowed the town to reduce pollutant loadings and help restore downstream shellfish beds. In summer, nearby Bell Creek flows are replenished with recycled water to improve fish habitat.
Macler, B., Bishop, S.C.M. and Smith, D. (2021), Small Systems: Put Your Wastewater and Stormwater to Use!. Opflow, 47: 10-15. https://doi.org/10.1002/opfl.1617