House Hearing on the Use of Reclaimed Water

The House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee heard testimony on a bill to promote the use of reclaimed water, Engrossed Second Substitute Senate Bill 6117. It makes several important changes to promote the use of reclaimed water. First, it makes it easier for wastewater treatment facilities to put reclaimed water to a positive use in replacing potable water use. It also exempts the reuse of reclaimed water by such a facility from water rights laws, thus not penalizing the entity for using reclaimed water.

The bill also seeks to speed rulemaking on a bill that passed last year, Engrossed Substitute House Bill 2884, by creating a new stakeholders committee and issue specific subcommittees. Local governments would also have the ability to require water conservation measures or the use of reclaimed water in when approving a short plat, short subdivision or subdivision. Finally, it directs the state Department of General Administration to conduct a pilot program to use reclaimed water on the Washington Capitol Campus in Olympia.

The AIA/WA singed in support of the bill at the hearing.