Study Introduction

An introduction to the reclaimed water infiltration study

The LOTT Clean Water Alliance is conducting a multi-year study to address community questions about using reclaimed water to recharge groundwater. Findings will help LOTT and our communities understand potential risks from infiltrating reclaimed water to groundwater and how to reduce those risks.

Why study reclaimed water?
Each of us sends water down the drain every day from our homes and businesses. With that water, we also send chemicals down the drain from the many medicines and household and personal care products we use. The water must be collected and cleaned up before it is released back to the environment. Most of the wastewater is treated to advanced secondary standards so that it can be released to Budd Inlet, and some of it is treated to higher Class A reclaimed water standards. This water can be used for everything but drinking. It is reused in the community or infiltrated into the ground, where it eventually mixes with groundwater. Reclaimed water meets high water quality standards, but not all residual chemicals are removed from the water.

What will the study involve?
The study includes a scientific look at which chemicals, such as those from soaps, shampoos, household cleaners, medicines, and cosmetics, are present in reclaimed water and what happens to them when reclaimed water is allowed to infiltrate into groundwater. The study will also encourage community conversations about water quality, reclaimed water, groundwater recharge, residual chemicals, and related watershed issues. Together, the science and the community dialogue from the study will help inform decisions about how to treat and use reclaimed water in the future.

View these materials to learn more about reclaimed water, infiltration, and the study basics.

Your input about the study is welcome! Please share your questions, concerns, or interests regarding the study or sign up to receive updates about study progress and opportunities for public involvement by sending an email.