Ohio first Midwest state accepted into WateReuse Association

Mar. 22—COLUMBUS — The WateReuse Association's national board approved Ohio's charter to form a state section at the 2024 WateReuse Symposium in Denver, Colorado, making Ohio the first Midwest state to join the national organization.

WateReuse Association State Sections address local issues, advocate for key legislation, and organize conferences and workshops, which is why Ohio EPA has been working with water and wastewater utilities across the state to form a chapter specifically for Ohio.

"Under Gov. DeWine and Lt. Gov. Husted's leadership, Ohio is proud to be one of the first Midwest states to bring water utilities together into a formal WateReuse chapter," Ohio EPA director Anne Vogel said. "This organization will allow for the thoughtful development of water re-use standards and sharing of best practices while protecting our most precious natural resource for future generations of Ohioans."

WateReuse Ohio will be a one-stop shop for collaboration with utilities, businesses, consultants, and academics to share lessons learned, best management practices, and new technologies. The group will develop an Ohio-specific WateReuse Action Plan, including rules, guidance, and permitting structure for utilities and businesses to follow.

Several Ohio utilities have come together to partner with Ohio EPA to develop a charter and John Newsome, with the Columbus Department of Public Utilities, will be the chapter's first president.

"The Columbus Department of Public Utilities couldn't be prouder that John Newsome will be the first president of WateReuse Ohio," Public Utilities director Kristen Atha said. "John's extensive background in both drinking water and wastewater make him an ideal choice to lead this initiative. While we have plenty of water now, innovative reuse is the best way to make sure our children and grandchildren have the same benefit."

This technology is already being utilized in Ohio. The City of Powell Public Utilities Department, for example, currently operates a water reclamation plant at the Scioto Reserve Golf Club.

"Delaware County views reuse as a critical driver for the long-term growth of Central Ohio," Delaware County Regional Sewer District director Tiffany Maag, said. "The lack of adequate water resources in our region to support that growth must be supplemented, and reuse could be a viable solution if done in a responsible manner."

Ohio EPA encourages all water users and providers, businesses, consultants, academia, and trade associations across the state to join our chapter and be engaged in water sustainability to ensure Ohio's economic future.

For more information, visit www.watrreuse.org.