Project #4979

Potable Reuse Demonstration Design & Communication Toolbox

Principal Investigator
Research Manager
Lyndsey Bloxom
Water Words That Work
Customer Relations & Stakeholder Engagement
Reuse: Potable
Reuse: Direct Potable
Reuse: Indirect Potable


Many water utilities are considering water reuse as a strategy to diversify their water supply portfolios. The technology for treating wastewater to potable standards is proven, reliable, and often cost effective. However, public opinion can present a challenge to more widespread implementation of water reuse technologies. Consumers have only a vague understanding of drinking water and wastewater treatment, and many are concerned about the prospect of “toilet to tap” in their community. However, most water customers and stakeholders are accepting of water reuse when they are properly informed about the technology, safety procedures, and contaminants that the utility is already removing from their drinking water supplies.

This project identified the most effective strategies for integrating public education and engagement elements at demonstration facilities for potable reuse, and developed outreach materials that present science and research on potable reuse in general. The final suite of deliverables can be used by any water utility that wants to make the case onsite that water reuse is safe, environmentally responsible, and cost-effective. Research Partner: Water Services Association of Australia. Published in 2023.