William & Mary Environmental Law and Policy Review


Heather Payne


Reliably providing safe drinking water to the public is an essential function of state and local governments. Across the United States, government officials and public water system managers are exploring mechanisms for ensuring water security. One method for increasing public drinking water security that has garnered the attention of water officials and the public is returning treated wastewater to the drinking water supply. However, in the absence of federal regulations on water reuse, states need guidance to develop the statutory framework necessary to make potable reuse legal. This Article details the processes of direct and indirect potable reuse and reviews the existing federal and state regulations concerning water systems and reuse. After discussing why, for energy and policy reasons, states and municipalities might want to encourage direct and/or indirect potable reuse, the Article concludes with model legislation for states to use in developing direct and indirect potable water reuse regulations.