S-1214.1  _______________________________________________


                         SENATE BILL 5882



State of Washington      55th Legislature     1997 Regular Session


By Senators Swecker, Rasmussen, Fraser, Morton, Spanel and West


Read first time 02/18/97.  Referred to Committee on Agriculture & Environment.

Authorizing reclaimed water demonstration projects.

    AN ACT Relating to a reclaimed water demonstration program; amending RCW 90.46.005; adding a new section to chapter 90.46 RCW; and making an appropriation.




    Sec. 1.  RCW 90.46.005 and 1995 c 342 s 1 are each amended to read as follows:

    The legislature finds that by encouraging the use of reclaimed water while assuring the health and safety of all Washington citizens and the protection of its environment, the state of Washington will continue to use water in the best interests of present and future generations.

    To facilitate the use of reclaimed water as soon as is practicable, the legislature encourages the cooperative efforts of the public and private sectors and the use of pilot projects to effectuate the goals of this chapter.  The legislature further directs the department of health and the department of ecology to coordinate efforts towards developing an efficient and streamlined process for creating and implementing processes for the use of reclaimed water.

    It is hereby declared that the people of the state of Washington have a primary interest in the development of facilities to provide reclaimed water to replace potable water in nonpotable applications, to supplement existing surface and ground water supplies, and to assist in meeting the future water requirements of the state.

    The legislature further finds and declares that the utilization of reclaimed water by local communities for domestic, agricultural, industrial, recreational, and fish and wildlife habitat creation and enhancement purposes, including wetland enhancement, will contribute to the peace, health, safety, and welfare of the people of the state of Washington.  To the extent reclaimed water is appropriate for beneficial uses, it should be so used to preserve potable water for drinking purposes.  Use of reclaimed water constitutes the development of new basic water supplies needed for future generations.

    The legislature further finds and declares that the use of reclaimed water is not inconsistent with the policy of antidegradation of state waters announced in other state statutes, including the water pollution control act, chapter 90.48 RCW and the water resources act, chapter 90.54 RCW.

    The legislature finds that other states, including California, Florida, and Arizona, have successfully used reclaimed water to supplement existing water supplies without threatening existing resources or public health.

    It is the intent of the legislature that the department of ecology and the department of health undertake the necessary steps to encourage the development of water reclamation facilities so that reclaimed water may be made available to help meet the growing water requirements of the state.

    The legislature further finds and declares that reclaimed water facilities are water pollution control facilities as defined in chapter 70.146 RCW and are eligible for financial assistance as provided in chapter 70.146 RCW.  The legislature finds that funding demonstration projects will ensure the future use of reclaimed water.  The demonstration projects in section 2 of this act are varied in nature and will provide the experience necessary to test different facets of the standards and refine a variety of technologies so that water purveyors can begin to use reclaimed water technology in a more cost-effective manner.  This is especially critical in smaller cities and communities where the feasibility for such projects is great, but there are scarce resources to develop the necessary facilities.


    NEW SECTION.  Sec. 2.  A new section is added to chapter 90.46 RCW to read as follows:

    (1) The department of ecology shall establish and administer a reclaimed water demonstration program for the purposes of funding and monitoring the progress of five demonstration projects.  The department shall work in cooperation with the department of health.

    (2) The five demonstration projects will be:

    (a) The city of Ephrata, to use class A reclaimed water for surface spreading that will recharge the groundwater and reduce the nitrate concentrations that currently exceed drinking water standards in domestic wells;

    (b) Lincoln county, for a study of the use of reclaimed water to transport twenty-two million gallons a day from Spokane to water sources that will rehydrate and restore long depleted streambeds and eventually become part of the Columbia basin project water;

    (c) The city of Royal City to replace an interim emergency sprayfield by using one hundred percent of its discharge as class A reclaimed water to augment irrigation water in the summer, enhance local wetlands and lakes in the winter, and potentially irrigate a golf course;

    (d) The city of Sequim to implement a tertiary treatment system and reuse one hundred percent of the city's wastewater to reopen an existing shellfish closure area to benefit state and tribal resources, improve streamflows in the Dungeness river, and provide a sustainable water supply for irrigation purposes;

    (e) The city of Yelm to use one hundred percent of its wastewater to provide alternative water supply for irrigation and industrial uses in order to offset increased demand for water supply, to protect the Nisqually river chum salmon runs, and to develop experimental artificial wetlands to test low cost treatment options.

    (3) By September 30, 1997, the department of ecology shall enter into a grant agreement with the demonstration project jurisdictions that includes reporting requirements, timelines, and a fund disbursement schedule based on the agreed project milestones.

    (4) Upon completion of the projects, the department of ecology shall report to the appropriate committees of the legislature on the results of the program.


    NEW SECTION.  Sec. 3.  The sum of ten million one hundred fifty thousand dollars, or as much thereof as may be necessary, is appropriated for the biennium ending June 30, 1999, to the department of ecology for the following purposes:

    (1) The sum of one hundred fifty thousand dollars for the departments of ecology and health to monitor the progress of the projects and further refine the standards; and

    (2) The sum of ten million dollars for funding of the reclaimed water demonstration projects in section 2 of this act.


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