Stream flow augmentation with recycled water has the potential to improve stream habitat and increase potable water supply, but the practice is not yet well understood or documented. Despite the fact that wastewater discharge to streams is commonplace, a water agency pursuing stream flow augmentation with recycled water will face unique challenges.
For example, recycled water typically contains trace amounts of organic wastewater-derived compounds (OWCs) for which the potential ecological risks must be balanced against the benefits of an augmentation project
Successful stream flow augmentation with recycled water requires that the lead agency clearly articulate a strong project rationale and identify key benefits. It must be assumed that the public will have some concerns about water quality. Public acceptance may be better if an augmentation project has co-benefits beyond maintaining stream ecosystems, such as improving water system supply and reliability (i.e. potable use offset).