Reclaimed Water for Public Water Supply Purposes

AWWA recognizes the need for sustainable water supply resources in light of drought, competition with other users, population growth, climate change impacts, ecological needs, and limited natural availability. Wastewater reclamation produced through appropriate treatment, monitoring, and control can be a tool to increase the water supply portfolio for many utilities faced with these constraints.

AWWA recognizes the value of high quality reclaimed wastewater - properly treated to appropriate standards - as a sustainable supplement to a region’s water supply portfolio. Reclaiming water from wastewater systems to augment supplies used for irrigation, industrial, ecological, and municipal uses within a public drinking water supplier’s service area have been successful in many places and may hold promise for others. In addition, reclaiming water from wastewater effluent, for indirect potable uses such as replenishing drinking water sources, maintaining aquifer levels, increasing stream flow or as a direct potable use may be a viable option with the appropriate level of treatment, reliability and safeguards to protect public health.

AWWA encourages continued research to assess potential public health and safety impacts, improve treatment technology, refine monitoring techniques, expand applications, and further develop health-based standards that ensure the increased and safe use of reclaimed water for the public.


Adopted by the Board of Directors June 18, 1971, and revised June 25, 1978, Jan. 26, 1986,
Jan. 22, 1995, and June 13, 2004, and Jan 17, 2010. Revised Jan. 19, 2014.