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Water Reuse

Water reuse is a process where wastewater, storm water, or graywater (non-sewage wastewater from sinks, baths and laundry) is treated and used for another purpose, such as irrigation. Reusing, or recycling, water is an effective way to conserve water, but it can also reduce nitrogen pollution when the nitrogen-rich water is used by plants, such as grass.

The Long Island Nitrogen Action Plan (LINAP) scoping process identified water reuse as a potential way to reduce nitrogen pollution. LINAP is working to encourage water reuse throughout Long Island, especially for turf irrigation.

LINAP Water Reuse Fact Sheet

Water reuse is not a common practice on Long Island due to the relative abundance of rainfall and low cost of water. However, reuse projects can be approved and permitted within the existing state regulatory framework. The Water Reuse fact sheet (PDF) summarizes LINAP's efforts to address challenges and needs of water reuse on Long Island. The fact sheet includes information about a permitting roadmap and an interactive GIS map to help determine locations where water reuse projects may be achievable, with a focus on golf course irrigation. The fact sheet is available for download and can be printed for personal and professional use.

Water Reuse Advisory Workgroup

The LINAP Water Reuse Advisory Workgroup was established to explore the opportunities, challenges, and nitrogen reduction potentials associated with water reuse on Long Island. This workgroup is not a decision-making body and advises the LINAP project management team. The LINAP Water Reuse Advisory Workgroup identified the need for a guide to explain the permitting process, and how agencies other than the DEC may be involved.

The workgroup has met several times, in-person and via conference calls, since 2017. Topics of discussion have included:

  • benefits, needs, and challenges associated with water reuse
  • current regulatory framework for water reuse
  • types of water reuse currently implemented in NYS

LINAP Water Reuse Resource Materials

Water Reuse Road Map

The LINAP Treated Wastewater Reuse Roadmap (PDF) is an interactive document that takes users (principally municipalities and engineering/consulting firms) through the steps of DEC's environmental permitting process for reuse of treated municipal effluent. The roadmap was created in consultation with the LINAP Water Reuse Advisory Workgroup, with input from DEC's Division of Water and Division of Environmental Permits, and is a general guide for water reuse permitting, subject to specific requirements that may vary due to features of individual projects. The document also includes contact information and links to DEC and external webpages.

Potential Water Reuse Opportunities Interactive Map: Golf Course

Treated effluent from centralized wastewater treatment facilities can be used as a source of non-potable water for various purposes. Using this water for irrigation at golf courses has multiple benefits:

  • potentially reduces the amount of nitrogen a golf course uses for fertilization
  • addresses nitrogen pollution by diverting nitrogen from waterbodies to properties where nitrogen can be used by turf grass and other plants
  • reduces the demand on Long Island's sole-source aquifer

This interactive map shows the location of golf courses in Nassau and Suffolk counties, as well as the location of wastewater treatment facilities, both municipal and private. Click on map features within the application to learn more information about a treatment facility, including its design flow/flow limit and current receiving water. The layers tool allows users to visualize a set range of distances from any wastewater treatment facility by displaying circles around these facilities. This can be used to see if any golf course (or other location of interest to you) falls within these circles to get a general idea of proximity. Use the measure tool to determine more accurate distances.

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