Water Quality Division: Permits: Reclaimed Water
 

Direct reuse of reclaimed water recycles treated effluent for beneficial uses, thereby conserving potable water sources for human consumption and domestic uses. Regulations apply to wastewater treatment facilities supplying reclaimed water and to the sites where water is applied or used.

A Reclaimed Water Individual Permit or Reclaimed Water General Permit is required if you are:

  • An owner or operator of a sewage treatment facility that generates reclaimed water for direct reuse
  • An owner or operator of a reclaimed water blending facility
  • A reclaimed water agent
  • An end user
  • A person who uses gray water
  • A person who directly reuses reclaimed water from a sewage treatment facility combined with industrial wastewater or combined with reclaimed water from an industrial wastewater treatment facility
  • A person who directly reuses reclaimed water from an industrial wastewater treatment facility in the production or processing of a crop or substance that may be used as human or animal food

All wastewater treatment facilities providing reclaimed water for reuse must have an individual Aquifer Protection Permit (APP), or amend their existing APP to contain certification for a particular Class (A+, A, B+, B or C) of reclaimed water. The APP requires monitoring and reporting of reclaimed water quality to ensure that effluent limitations for reclaimed water quality classes are met.

The department recognizes that reclaimed water may change hands more than once between the place of treatment and the final end user. Therefore, permitting options are provided for reclaimed water blending facilities and reclaimed water agents.

A reclaimed water blending facility receives reclaimed water of a certain class and improves the quality by blending the reclaimed water with water from one or more additional sources. The improved quality of the resultant reclaimed water allows more or different reuse applications than the original quality would have allowed.

An option is provided for a person or entity to act as a reclaimed water agent for multiple end users. The reclaimed water agent operates under a general or individual reclaimed water permit and allows end users to receive reclaimed water for appropriate reuse applications without having to notify the department to obtain permit coverage.

Classes of Reclaimed Water

Reclaimed Water Quality Standards establishes five classes of reclaimed water expressed as a combination of minimum treatment requirements and a limited set of numeric reclaimed water quality criteria. Class A reclaimed water is required for reuse applications where there is a relatively high risk of human exposure to potential pathogens in the reclaimed water. For uses where the potential for human exposure is lower, Class B and Class C are acceptable.

The Reclaimed Water Quality Standards include two "+" categories of reclaimed water, Class A+ and Class B+. Both categories require treatment to produce reclaimed water with a total nitrogen concentration of less than 10 mg/l. These categories of reclaimed water will minimize concerns over nitrate contamination of groundwater beneath sites where reclaimed water is applied. As a result, the general permits for the direct reuse of Class A+ and Class B+ reclaimed water do not include nitrogen management as a condition of the reuse.

Individual Permits

The department encourages an applicant to schedule a pre-application conference to discuss issues relevant to permitting. While not mandatory, this conference will help an applicant to complete the Individual Permit Application (30 KB). An incomplete application may result in lengthy delays while a pre-application conference may result in quicker processing times that may lower application fees and other costs.

An individual permit is required for the reuse of industrial wastewater that contains a component of sewage or is used in processing any crop or substance that may be used as human or animal food. This requirement does not apply to industrial wastewater that is recycled or used in industrial processes. Rather, this permit applies where the industrial wastewater is provided for a reuse application beyond the normal industrial process. No permit is required if the industrial workplace is governed by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration or Mine Safety and Health Administration.

General Permits

Currently there are nine general permits ranging from permits requiring department notification, to permits authorized by simply meeting the criteria specified in rule. Two general permits are issued for gray water, one is issued for a Reclaimed Water Agent, one for a Reclaimed Water Blending Facility, and five for end-users based on the Reclaimed Water Class. In most cases, these general permits can be permitted in less time and with lower review fees than the Reclaimed individual permit.

Permit Types

  • Type 1 General Permit - Does not require notification and does not expire if the general permit conditions are continually met.
  • Type 2 General Permits - Require a Notice of Intent (NOI) and are valid for five years.
    • Notices of Intent for Type 2 General Permits
  • Type 3 General Permits - Require a Notice of Intent (NOI) and are valid for five years. The applicant must receive a written verification from the department before operating.
    • Notices of Intent for Type 3 General Permits

Forms and Guidance

Notices of Intent (NOIs)

Type 2 Reclaimed Water General Permits

Type 3 Reclaimed Water General Permits

Type 1 Reclaimed Water General Permit
Description General Provisions
Type 1 Reclaimed Water General Permit for Gray Water - Allows for the use of gray water from a private residence or small multi-family complex for surface or subsurface irrigation

Using Gray Water at Home (en español)

Private, residential reuse and flow must be less than 400 gallons per day

Type 2 Reclaimed Water General Permits
Description Common Requirements General Provisions
Type 2 Reclaimed Water General Permit for Direct Reuse of Class A+ Reclaimed Water - for reuse applications where there is a relatively high risk of human exposure to potential pathogens in the reclaimed water Each end-user has the responsibility of meeting all permit requirements Allows for the direct reuse application of reclaimed water provided that the reclaimed water meets the quality criteria in A.A.C. R18-11-3 for Class A+. A+ reclaimed water has been denitrified so as not to exceed 10 mg/L total nitrogen.

See 18 A.A.C. 11, Article 3, Appendix A

Type 2 Reclaimed Water General Permit for Direct Reuse of Class A Reclaimed Water - for reuse applications where there is a relatively high risk of human exposure to potential pathogens in the reclaimed water All permits have signage, record maintenance and irrigation management requirements Allows for the direct reuse application of reclaimed water provided that the reclaimed water meets the quality criteria in A.A.C. R18-11-3 for Class A. Includes requirements for nitrogen management and lining of impoundments.

See 18 A.A.C. 11, Article 3, Appendix A

Type 2 Reclaimed Water General Permit for Direct Reuse of Class B+ Reclaimed Water Allows for the direct reuse application of reclaimed water provided that the reclaimed water meets the quality criteria in A.A.C. R18-11-3 for Class B+.

B+ reclaimed water has been denitrified so as not to exceed 10 mg/L total nitrogen.

See 18 A.A.C. 11, Article 3, Appendix A, (B and C only)

Type 2 Reclaimed Water General Permit for Direct Reuse of Class B Reclaimed Water Allows for the direct reuse application of reclaimed water provided that the reclaimed water meets the quality criteria in A.A.C. R18-11-3 for Class B. Includes requirements for nitrogen management and lining of impoundments.

See 18 A.A.C. 11, Article 3, Appendix A. (B and C only)

Type 2 Reclaimed Water General Permit for Direct Reuse of Class C Reclaimed Water Allows for the direct reuse application of Class C reclaimed water provided that the reclaimed water meets the quality criteria in A.A.C. R18-11-3 for Class C. Includes requirements for nitrogen management and lining of impoundments.

See 18 A.A.C. 11, Article 3, Appendix A (C only)

Type 3 Reclaimed Water General Permits
Description General Provisions
Type 3 Reclaimed Water General Permit for a Reclaimed Water Blending Facility - The facility receives reclaimed water of a certain class and improves the quality by blending it with water from one or more additional sources. Blending reclaimed water with industrial wastewater or with reclaimed water from an industrial wastewater treatment plant is not authorized. The applicant must receive a written Verification of General Permit Conformance from the department before use of reclaimed water can be initiated

Report monitoring results annually.

Type 3 Reclaimed Water General Permit for a Reclaimed Water Agent - The agent distributes reclaimed water to more than one end user. The agent, rather than the end-users, is responsible for the appropriate Type 2 permit conditions of the reclaimed water sent to the end users. End users can receive reclaimed water from an Agent for appropriate reuse applications without having to notify the department to obtain permit coverage. Each Agent is required to: maintain contractual agreements with end users that stipulate end user responsibilities and report annually the amount of reclaimed water delivered to end users. The applicant must receive a written Verification of General Permit Conformance from the department before use of reclaimed water can be initiated.
Type 3 Reclaimed Water General Permit for Gray Water - Intended for applications of gray water in situations where Type 1 gray water permit does not apply and irrigation will be subsurface only. ADEQ may accept a different gray water irrigation system if it provides equivalent performance and protection of human health and water quality. Does not qualify for a Type 1 permit; flow is not more than 3,000 gallons per day; must meet notification, design and installation requirements specified in rule. Surface irrigation with gray water more than 400 gallons per day must be regulated under an individual reclaimed water permit.

** Reuse of industrial wastewater that is combined with sewage or that is used for the production or processing of food for human or animals requires an individual reclaimed water permit.

Licensing Time-frames

Administrative completeness reviews for individual reclaimed water permits are 35 days and time-frames for substantive reviews for standard and complex facilities range from 186 days to 295 days, depending on the complexity of the project and whether a public hearing is held. Type 3 General Permits are also subject to Licensing Time-frames.

Exemptions

None

Regulatory Citations
A.R.S. §§ 49-104 (B)(13) and 49-141; 18 A.A.C. 9, Art. 6 and 7. 18 A.A.C. 11, Art. 3.