Part III of Chapter 62-610, Florida Administrative Code (F.A.C.), deals with public access reuse systems. These systems include irrigation of golf courses, residential areas, parks, school grounds, and edible crops.
Three Key Components to a Part III Reuse System
Production of a high quality reclaimed water at the domestic wastewater treatment facility,
Cross-connection control, and
Ensuring that reuse customers and the public are informed about the proper use of reclaimed water.
Reclaimed water meeting the requirements of Part III of Chapter 62-610, F.A.C., is similar to drinking water in that it is sparkling clear and meets many of the drinking water standards. However, it is not meant for drinking water purposes. Since, it is virtually impossible to distinguish reclaimed water from drinking water by sight and scent, it is important that cross-connections between reclaimed water lines and drinking water lines be prevented in order to protect public health.
Before a public access reuse system is placed into operation, the permittee must develop and obtain DEP acceptance for a cross-connection prevention and inspection program as discussed in Rule 62-610.469, F.A.C. [see Rule 62-610.491(1)(b), F.A.C.] Public access reuse systems cannot be placed into operation until DEP receives documentation of a DEP accepted cross-connection control and inspection program for all public drinking water supply systems located within, or providing service within areas to be served by reclaimed water.
Responsibilities of Owners/Operators of Public Access Reuse Systems
It is the permittee’s responsibility to ensure that:
Reclaimed water delivered to users is of acceptable quality for the intended use at the point of delivery such that public health and environmental quality are protected;
Reclaimed water is used in a manner consistent with Chapter 62-610, F.A.C., and the permit by conducting inspections within the reclaimed water service area to verify proper connections, monitor proper use of reclaimed water and minimize the potential for cross-connections. (Inspections are required when customers first connect to the reclaimed water distribution system and periodically thereafter); and
Users of reclaimed water are informed about the origin, nature and characteristics of reclaimed water; and limitations on the use of reclaimed water. (Informed users make better decisions and will use reclaimed water appropriately, and informed users are less likely to create cross-connections between drinking water and reuse lines.) [see Rules 62-610.800(12) & 62-610.468(6), F.A.C.]
Cross-Connection Control Rule Requirements
Rule 62-610.469(7), F.A.C., strictly prohibits cross-connections to potable (drinking) water systems. Rule 62-610.469(7)(a), F.A.C., directs the permittee to submit documentation of DEP acceptance for a cross-connection control program pursuant to Rule 62-555.360, F.A.C., for all public water supply systems located within areas to be served by the reuse system.
Rules 62-610.469(6) and (7)(b) through (h), F.A.C., specify requirements aimed at cross-connection control such as:
Separation distances between reclaimed water lines and other domestic water lines;
Labeling of reclaimed water valves and outlets to warn the public and employees that the water is not intended for drinking. (Labels must bear the words "Do not drink" in English and Spanish together with the equivalent standard international symbol.);
Converting existing domestic wastewater lines to reclaimed water lines. (Permittees must provide affirmative demonstration that all existing connections will be eliminated.);
Inspecting reclaimed water lines to minimize the potential of cross-connections; and
Color coding of reclaimed water pipes, valves and outlets to differentiate reclaimed water from domestic or other water lines. (Reclaimed water piping that is not manufactured of metal or concrete must be color using Pantone Purple 522C using light stable colorants. Metal and concrete pipe shall be color coded or marked using purple as a predominant color.)
Note: It is recommended, but shall not be required, that distribution and application facilities located on private properties, including residential properties, be color coded using Pantone Purple 522C.
Record Drawings: Record drawings are required as discussed in Rule 62-620.630, F.A.C. Record drawings are needed for additional portions as well as initial portions of the reuse distribution system. Record drawings for reclaimed water facilities located on private property are recommended but not required. [See Rule 62-610.800(6), F.A.C.]
Reporting to DEP: In 1999, the Annual Reuse Report was revised to include requirements for reporting cross-connection control and inspection activities of public access reuse systems.
Recommended Communication with Regulatory Agencies
Effective communication and establishment of partnerships with the regulatory agencies are key elements in reuse system management. This is particularly true for the Part III public access reuse system. Multiple agencies (local and state) may have interest and involvement in the implementation and review of cross-connection control activities. Effective communication is needed to ensure that all parties are aware of what’s happening within the reuse system.
The permittee is required to obtain written permission from DEP before the initial part of the reuse system is placed into operation. However, formal notification to DEP or other agencies is not required as subsequent portions of the reuse system are constructed.
It is recommended (but not required) that the utility notify the DEP district office, the county health department and other parties involved in the implementation of the cross-connection control program as additional portions of the reuse system are constructed.
March 23, 2020 - 12:24pm
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The Florida Department of Environmental Protection is the state’s lead agency for environmental management and stewardship – protecting our air, water and land. The vision of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection is to create strong community partnerships, safeguard Florida’s natural resources and enhance its ecosystems.