Time to Start Planning for Implementation of Florida SB 64
In June 2021, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed CS/SB 64 that requires domestic wastewater utilities to submit a five-year plan to eliminate nonbeneficial surface water discharges to the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). The bill provides a legislative statement that sufficient water supply is imperative to the state’s future and that potable reuse is a source of water that may assist with meeting future demand for water supply.
Operators were required to submit a plan by November 1, 2021, that addressed how they will implement the procedures by January 1, 2028.
When your plan is approved, the DEP will incorporate the plan into your utility’s operating permit. A plan may be modified by an amendment to the permit, but the permit may not be amended such that the permit no longer meets the bill’s requirements. If a plan is not timely submitted by a utility or approved by the DEP, the utility’s domestic wastewater treatment facilities may not dispose of effluent, reclaimed water or reuse water by surface discharge after January 1, 2028.
Now that plans have been submitted, it’s time to turn those ideas into reality. Halff Associates has experience in preparing conceptual plans for indirect potable reuse projects and for projects that provide direct ecological or public water supply.
Reclaimed Water as Alternative Water Supply
Reclaimed water is a type of alternative water supply as defined in s. 373.019(1), F.S., and is eligible to receive alternative water supply funding.
Halff can assist in planning and designing reclaimed water projects required to eliminate the nonbeneficial discharges of your facility. The are many opportunities for discharge that can range from irrigation of golf courses to urban uses such as toilet flushing and agricultural usage.
Potable reuse is the process of using treated wastewater for drinking water. Although regulations currently exist in Florida for using reclaimed water for indirect potable reuse for augmenting surface water, there are no regulations that address using reclaimed water for indirect potable reuse involving groundwater replenishment or direct potable reuse.
The bill specifies that potable reuse is an alternative water supply to make reuse projects eligible for alternative water supply funding. The bill also specifies that potable reuse water may not be excluded from regional water supply planning.
With many years of expertise, Halff can help your entity design and build reuse projects that will meet the requirements of this bill.
Planning and Funding Incentives
The bill incentivizes the development of potable reuse projects by private entities through eligibility for expedited permitting, beginning January 1, 2026, and eligibility for priority funding from the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund, under the Water Protection and Sustainability Program, and for water management district cooperative funding.
The bill incentivizes the use of greywater in residential construction projects via density and intensity incentives for developers.
Halff Associates can help you identify sources of funding so that you can incorporate these opportunities into your Capital Improvement Plan (CIP).
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For more information about water/wastewater resources as they relate to CS/SB 64, reach out to Director of Water and Wastewater Rob Ern, PE, at (352) 557-9220 or email@example.com, Senior Project Manager Antonio Serbia, PE, ENV SP, at (813) 279-1359 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or Team Leader Mike Scullion, PE, BCEE, at (352) 557-9235 or email@example.com.