HOUSE BILL REPORT
As Reported By House Committee on:
Natural Resources & Parks
Title: An act relating to water conservation and reclamation.
Brief Description: Regulating the usage of reclaimed water.
Sponsor(s): Representatives Fraser, McLean, Rayburn, Edmondson, Valle, Miller, Belcher, Brekke and Haugen.
Reported by House Committee on:
Natural Resources & Parks, February 7, 1992, DPS.
HOUSE COMMITTEE ON
NATURAL RESOURCES & PARKS
Majority Report: The substitute bill be substituted therefor and the substitute bill do pass. Signed by 11 members: Representatives Belcher, Chair; Scott, Vice Chair; Beck, Ranking Minority Member; Brumsickle, Assistant Ranking Minority Member; Dellwo; Fraser; Hargrove; Morton; Riley; Sheldon; and Wynne.
Staff: Randy Acker (786-7129).
Background: Legislation passed in 1989 required the Department of Health to, contingent upon the availability of funds, encourage the use of reclaimed water. Many states, including California and Oregon, presently have adopted standards which allow the use of reclaimed water. Recently a number of large utilities and private sector users of large quantities of water asked that the state expedite the development of reuse standards so that projects currently in the planning stages may include reuse capabilities.
Summary of Substitute Bill: The Department of Health and the Department of Ecology are required to adopt a single set of permanent standards, procedures and guidelines by August 1, 1993, for the use of reclaimed water. The departments are required to develop interim guidelines for the use of reclaimed water for application to land by July 1, 1992, and for use in commercial and industrial applications by November 15, 1992. Persons using reclaimed water prior to the effective date of this act are not required to comply with standards, procedures and guidelines before August 1, 1994. The Department of Health is authorized to develop pilot projects to aid in achieving the purposes of this act.
The Department of Health is authorized to require a permit for the use of reclaimed water and to charge fees for such permits. A permit is required from the Department of Ecology for any land application of reclaimed water, and may be issued only to a municipal, quasi-municipal, or other governmental entity.
The Department of Health is directed to report to the Legislature by August 1, 1994, on the progress of the program to use reclaimed water. In addition, the department is directed to make recommendations as to whether current uses of reclaimed water, exempt from compliance until August 1994, should be required to obtain a permit and comply with the new standards. The report must also consider potential uses of greywater, as distinct from reclaimed water, and make recommendations. The report is to be prepared in coordination with the Department of Ecology, state Building Code Council, and state Board of Health.
The Department of Health is required to form an advisory committee before May 1, 1992, to provide technical assistance on the development of standards for use of reclaimed water.
Substitute Bill Compared to Original Bill: The date by which permanent standards for use of reclaimed water must be adopted is changed from March 1, 1993 to August 1, 1993. The Department of Health is required to form an advisory committee. The appropriation is deleted. Technical changes to clarify the bill are made.
Fiscal Note: Requested January 29, 1992. New fiscal note requested on February 8, 1992.
Effective Date of Substitute Bill: The bill contains an emergency clause and takes effect immediately.
Testimony For: Reuse of water is critical to addressing the water resource needs of the state. Reuse helps to reduce the need for additional sources of freshwater. The authority for the Department of Health to charge fees for permits is essential to the success of the reuse program. The technology to use reclaimed water has been tried and proven, and it is economically feasible. The impediment right now is the lack of standards.
Testimony Against: None.
Witnesses: Eric Slagle and Dave Clark, Department of Health (in favor); Hedia Adelsman, Department of Ecology (in favor); Kim Drury, Seattle Water Department (in favor); Larry Jones, Metro (in favor); Judd Kirk, Blackhawk Port Blakely Communities (in favor); and Ralph Mackey, Washington Environmental Council (in favor).