Water Quality Division

Image of water taken under the water with a close-up of air bubbles rasing to the surface

Recycled Water Rulemaking

In 2017, ADEQ revised Arizona’s rules governing the use of recycled water, including reclaimed water and gray water.

Since these rules were updated in 2001, Arizona experienced an expansion in the beneficial reuse of treated wastewater, including new research, technology and proposed uses of recycled water.

Reclaimed water is highly treated wastewater from a wastewater treatment plant.1 Reclaimed water has uses, such as irrigation, that offset and conserve potable water for human consumption and domestic purposes. Gray water is wastewater that has been collected separately from a sewage flow and that originates from a clothes washer or a bathroom tub, shower or sink but that does not include wastewater from a kitchen sink, dishwasher, or toilet.2 Gray water also has uses, such as landscape irrigation, that augment Arizona’s water supply.

ADEQ conducted three listening sessions to gather stakeholder input on possible key changes to the rules and developed a stakeholder issue matrix to summarize the stakeholder input | View Matrix >

ADEQ also requested two expert workgroups to assist in providing technical advice regarding reclaimed standards, and infrastructure and technology. ADEQ will review the rules in light of workgroups' technical advice, additional stakeholder input and internal expertise. ADEQ will utilize the workgroups' technical advice, additional stakeholder input, and internal expertise to evaluate recycled water use into the future, including evaluating future regulation of Direct Potable Reuse | Learn More >

Recycled Water Quality Standards Workgroup Charter | Download >
Recycled Water Infrastructure and Technology Workgroup Charter | Download >
Related Stakeholder Engagement Materials (including final combined workgroup report) | View >

ADEQ reorganized the recycled water rules, removed the prohibition on providing treated reclaimed water for potable uses, and provided an interim individual permit rule to allow treatment of reclaimed water for direct potable uses.

Water Quality Final Rules | View >

Also, while  the recycled water rule update and reorganization became effective in January 2018, existing issued permits are still in effect according to the rules at the time of permit issuance (i.e., as they existed in 2017) until the permits expire.

Reclaimed water rules as of Dec. 31, 2017 | View >