Indirect Potable Reuse (IPR) Information

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Information about Indirect Potable Reuse (IPR):

  • Using proven water purification technology, IPR is a safe and reliable method that blends advanced treated recycled water* into natural water sources (aquifers, lakes, streams) and can ultimately be used for drinking (potable) water after further filtration and treatment.
  • The reverse osmosis treatment technologies used in IPR systems are reliable and capable of producing water that meets United States Environmental Protection Agency drinking water standards.
  • With IPR, advanced treated recycled water is discharged into environmental systems (aquifers, lakes, streams) where it remains while it undergoes a natural biological process.
  • Percolation is a proven safe and natural form of sanitation since the ground between the percolation system and the aquifer acts as environmental buffer to further cleanse the water through the advanced soil treatment process.
  • IPR offers regional salinity management as advanced treated recycled water removes salts as part of the reverse osmosis process.
  • California, Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Texas, Virginia, and other states have implemented successful IPR projects.
  • IPR allows the supply of potable water to increase as the population increases. For example, when an area experiences growth, the amount of wastewater generated by that population also increases. The more wastewater that is generated, the more water becomes available for reuse through IPR.
  • IPR offers a stable, long-term, sustainable source of potable water when confronted with drought or decreased imported water supplies, at a reasonable cost.
  • With IPR, high quality recycled water percolates into the groundwater basins, with the intent of increasing sustainable potable drinking water supplies through artificial recharge.
  • IPR water goes through numerous treatment processes and is subject to strict testing requirements before becoming potable drinking water. In California, both potable and non-potable water is regulated and monitored to ensure safety.
  • IPR helps to restore overdrafted aquifers, lakes, streams, and other water sources.
  • Water is a finite resource. Because we are using the same water the dinosaurs used, all water goes through a natural cycle, essentially becoming a form of recycled water before it is treated and tested and returned to homes and businesses as drinking water.

*Recycled Water: Wastewater from homes or businesses travels through a pipeline system to a treatment facility, where it is treated to a high-level for reuse. The water is then routed directly to a recycled water pipeline system for uses such as commercial landscape and agricultural irrigation and industrial cooling. Every gallon of water that can be reused means one more gallon can remain underground; or one more gallon doesn't need to be imported from Northern California or the Colorado River. For EMWD, recycled water is a precious water source that is managed very carefully. Simply put, a treatment plant speeds-up the natural water cycle process. For more information regarding recycled water for kids, please click the following link: Professor Purrkis Ponders Purple Pipes.