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Domestic Wastewater Wetlands as Reuse


Use it Again, Florida!Rule 62-610.810(2)g, F.A.C., allows for certain wetlands for wastewater treatment to be classified as "reuse." This rule states that wetlands creation, restoration, and enhancement projects can be considered reuse if the applicant provides an affirmative demonstration that reclaimed water will be used to create, restore, or enhance the wetlands. The wetlands creation, restoration, or enhancement aspects must be described in detail and documented. 

Based on the criteria in Rule 62-610.810(2)(g), F.A.C., man-made wetlands as well as hydrologically-altered wetlands used for wastewater treatment can be considered reuse provided the proper documentation of created or restored habitat is submitted.

Other wetlands projects may also be considered reuse if it is properly demonstrated that the application of reclaimed water will effectively "enhance" and continue to "enhance" the wetland. This "enhancement" however, is not clearly defined by the rules and is determined on a case by case basis.

Rule 62-610.810(4), F.A.C., requires that wetlands creation, restoration, and enhancement projects be reviewed at each permit renewal.   The permit renewal application must include documentation that the project "continues to function as designed and that the wetlands creation, restoration, and enhancement attributes of the project remain applicable."

Please note that wetlands that are classified as reuse are still permitted under the wetland rules in Chapter 62-611, F.A.C., and are never permitted under the reuse rules of Chapter 62-610, F.A.C.  In short, wetlands classified as reuse still must meet the stringent requirements of Chapter 62-611, F.A.C.

Further, Rules 62-610.554(3) and 62-610.810(2)(f), F.A.C., indicate that discharges to Class I waters are considered forms of indirect potable reuse; therefore, those projects should be classified as reuse. For wastewater wetlands that are Class I waters or are contiguous to Class I waters, Rules 62-600.554, and 62-610.555, F.A.C., should be used to determine any additional levels of treatment that may be required.

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Last updated: September 21, 2011

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