(COLORADO) — The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) has passed updated drinking water standards to regulate water reuse, requiring water providers to meet high standards for treatment, testing, and community engagement for Direct Potable Reuse (DPR).

DPR will require treatment with state-of-the-art multi-stage technologies to make treated wastewater safe for human consumption. CDPHE said, Colorado communities have never been prohibited from implementing DPR projects, but no utilities have implemented DPR to date. 

According to CDPHE, this rule is the first of its kind in the nation and will apply to all community water systems that pursue DPR. Directly reusing water for drinking will not be allowed without meeting these new standards.

The new rules require water providers to inform the public if they use DPR. CDPHE said this is the first time a Colorado drinking water rule requires water providers to proactively notify the public about the use of a specific treatment technology.

“We are thrilled that the Water Quality Control Commission unanimously adopted DPR into the regulations. This rule sets high standards for these projects and allows us to make sure that these projects are implemented safely to protect public health,” said Nicole Rowan, Water Quality Control Division Director.