Reuse is an integral part of water resources management, wastewater management and ecosystem management in Florida. It reduces demands on valuable surface and ground waters used for drinking water sources, eliminates discharges that may pollute valuable surface waters, recharges ground water, and postpones costly investment for development of new water sources and supplies.
The Florida Legislature has established "The encouragement and promotion of reuse of reclaimed water and water conservation" as formal state objectives in Section 403.064(1), Florida Statutes (F.S.), and Section 373.250, F.S. It is interesting to note that the objectives are included in the statute dealing with environmental and wastewater control and the statute dealing with water resources and water supply. Florida’s reuse program was implemented in response to the state reuse objectives.
Department of Environmental Protection's (DEP) Reuse Program
DEP’s reuse program is charged with encouraging and promoting reuse in Florida and also with protecting the public health and environmental quality. DEP’s Reuse Coordinator, who has primary responsibility for implementation of the reuse program, is located in the Domestic Wastewater Program in the Division of Water Resource Management.
Rules are established and maintained to ensure that reuse projects are designed and operated such that public health and environmental quality will be protected. Reuse rule requirements are established in Chapter 62-610, F.A.C.
The program provides oversight of DEP permitting activities to ensure that rules are applied consistently statewide. DEP district offices review permits to make sure they are consistent with reuse requirements established by DEP rules as well as the applicable consumptive use permit issued by the water management district. Permits issued must also be consistent with the antidegradation policy. DEP also reviews reuse feasibility studies for wastewater treatment facilities.
The key components of Florida’s Reuse Program are discussed in the following links:
Water Reuse for Florida: Strategies for Effective Use of Reclaimed Water
The Reuse Strategy Report is a useful and important document. The centerpiece of the report is a series of 16 strategies designed to encourage efficient and effective use of reclaimed water in Florida. It can also serve as a reference to the evolution of Florida's Water Reuse Program and a roadmap for the Water Reuse Program as we move into the 21st century.
Statement of Support for Water Reuse
DEP along with Region 4 of the Environmental Protection Agency, the Florida Department of Health, Florida’s five water management districts, the Public Service Commission, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, and the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (formerly Florida Department of Community Affairs) have developed the Statement of Support for Water Reuse in Florida. The Statement of Support is a clear statement of the participating agencies’ support for water reuse and their commitment to working together to encourage and promote water reuse in Florida.
March 24, 2020 - 8:51am
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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.