BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                AB 803
                                                                       

                      SENATE COMMITTEE ON ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY
                              Senator Jerry Hill, Chair
                              2013-2014 Regular Session

           BILL NO:    AB 803
           AUTHOR:     Gomez
           AMENDED:    June 25, 2013
           FISCAL:     Yes               HEARING DATE:     July 3, 2013
           URGENCY:    No                CONSULTANT:        Rachel Machi 
                                                           Wagoner
            
           SUBJECT  :    WATER RECYCLING ACT OF 2013

            Existing law  :

           1)Pursuant to the Porter-Cologne Act, the State Water  
             Resources Control Board (SWRCB) has the authority over State  
             water rights and water quality policy.  Establishes eight  
             Regional Water Quality Control Boards (RWQCBs) to oversee  
             water quality on a day-to-day basis at the local and  
             regional level.

           2)Requires, under Porter-Cologne, that tertiary treated  
             recycled water is only reportable at 50,000 gallons or more  
             and that recycled water that is treated to less than a  
             tertiary level is reportable at 1,000 gallons.

           3)Requires the Department of Public Health (DPH) to enforce  
             laws and regulations related to drinking water safety.

           4)Requires DPH to establish uniform statewide recycling  
             criteria for each type of use of recycled water use.

           5)Requires any person proposing to discharge waste within any  
             region to file a report of waste discharge with the  
             appropriate RWQCB.  No discharge may take place until the  
             RWQCB issues waste discharge requirements or a waiver of the  
             waste discharge requirements.

            SUMMARY  :   

            This bill  :  Modifies SWRCB and RWQCBs regulation of recycled  
           water.  Specifically:









                                                                AB 803
                                                                 Page 2


           1)Designates this act as the Water Recycling Act of 2013.

           2)Authorizes SWRCB and RWQCBs to permit Advanced Treated  
             Purified Water (ATPW) projects at the point where the  
             treated water enters a conveyance facility exiting the  
             treatment plant.

           3)Authorizes the use of recycled water in cemeteries hose  
             bibs.

           4)Requires a cemetery supplied with disinfected tertiary  
             recycled water that installs a hose bib in a public access  
             area to post visible signage and labeling indicating that  
             the water is nonpotable.

           5)Provides that ATPW means water of wastewater origin treated  
             with a treatment method at least as effective as membrane  
             filtration, reverse osmosis, advanced oxidation,  
             disinfection, and engineered reliability features or other  
             suitable treatment as approved by DPH.

            COMMENTS  :

            1) Purpose of Bill  .  According to the author, "This bill will  
              remove barriers to the increased use of recycled water and  
              ensure protection of public health and safety by aligning  
              existing provisions in law to reduce unnecessary paperwork  
              that results from the reporting of incidental run-off from  
              recycled water projects.  The bill clarifies existing  
              Regional Water Quality Control Board authority to permit  
              Advanced Treated Purified Water projects at the point where  
              the highly treated water exits the treatment plant and  
              enters a conveyance facility.  In the case of the City of  
              San Diego, the permitting approach acknowledged in the bill  
              will avoid the cost and environmental impact of a $220  
              million pipeline."

              Additionally, the author states, that currently, cemetery  
              operators who wish to provide hose bibs for use by visitors  
              to fill flower vases at their sites either: 1) install at  
              considerable cost, a parallel potable water distribution  
              system on-site to a significant number of hose bibs, or 2)  









                                                                AB 803
                                                                 Page 3

              forego the use of recycled water and continue the wasteful  
              use of potable water for irrigation.  This bill will  
              require signage to ensure recycled water is not used for  
              potable purposes.

            2) City of San Diego project  .  The City of San Diego is  
              currently considering the final phase of the water reuse  
              program which is the construction of a full-scale advanced  
              water treatment plant and transmission pipeline.  According  
              to the City, the treatment plant would take recycled water  
              (acceptable for irrigation and industrial applications)  
              from the North City Water Reclamation Plant and apply  
              additional treatment to produce high quality advanced  
              treated water.  A 22-mile pipeline would then transport  
              this advanced treated recycled water to San Vicente  
              Reservoir, where it would blend with imported untreated  
              water and reside for several months prior to being sent to  
              water treatment plants for additional treatment and  
              distribution as potable water.

            3) Chemicals of emerging concern  .  SWRCB adopted a Recycled  
              Water Policy in February 2009, which is intended to provide  
              permitting clarity for recycled water projects.  One  
              challenge in developing that policy was how to address new  
              classes of chemicals, such as pharmaceuticals, current use  
              pesticides, and industrial chemicals, collectively referred  
              to as chemicals of emerging concern (CECs).  Many CECs are  
              potentially present in recycled water, but the detection of  
              many of these chemicals is so recent that robust methods  
              for their quantification and toxicological data for  
              interpreting potential human or ecosystem health effects  
              are unavailable.
            
             4) Advanced treated purified water  .  The bill requires  
              recycled water to meet ATPW standards approved by DPH for  
              the purposes of discharge into a conveyance facility.   
              There is currently not a specific DPH standard or process  
              for approving ATPW, nor does DPH or SWRCB law, regulation  
              or policy regarding discharge of the recycled water  
              contemplate different standards for different types of  
              recycled water.  Creating this new term in statute would  
              conflict with the existing policy and statutory framework  
              regarding recycled water.  SB 918 (Pavley), Chapter 700,  









                                                                AB 803
                                                                 Page 4

              Statutes of 2010, requires DPH to develop uniform criteria  
              for indirect reuse of recycled water and consider direct  
              reuse of recycled water.  Because SB 918 did not  
              contemplate different types of recycled water, by inserting  
              a new term for a type of recycled water potentially  
              conflicts with the criteria DPH is developing and thereby  
              may impact the ability to implement that criteria.

              The bill should be amended to replace ATPW with the correct  
              term as defined in current law.

            SOURCE  :        WateReuse  

           SUPPORT  :       Association of California Water Agencies
                          Burbank Water and Power
                          California Association of Sanitation Agencies
                          California Municipal Utilities Association
                          California State Pipe Trades Council
                          California Water Association
                          Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors
                          Contra Costa Water District
                          Desert Water Agency
                          Dublin San Ramon Services District
                          Dublin San Ramon Services District
                          East Bay Municipal Utility District
                          Irvine Ranch Water District
                          Keith Caldwell, Napa County Supervisor
                          Las Virgenes-Triunfo Joint Powers Authority
                          North Bay Water Reuse Program
                          Novato Sanitary District
                          Sacramento Regional County Sanitation District
                          San Diego County Water Authority
                          San Gabriel Valley Water Association
                          The Metropolitan Water District of Southern  
                     California
                          California Coastkeeper Alliance
                          Upper San Gabriel Valley Municipal Water  
                     District
            
           OPPOSITION  :    None on file  


            









                                                                AB 803
                                                                 Page 5