United States
                   Environmental Protection
                       Office of Water
EPA 816-F-01-019
June 2001
Filter Backwash  Recycling  Rule:
A Quick  Reference  Guide
Overview of the Rule

Filter Backwash Recycling Rule (FBRR)
66 FR 31086, June 8, 2001, Vol. 66, No. 111
Improve public health protection by assessing and changing, where
needed, recycle practices for improved contaminant control, particularly
microbial contaminants.
The FBRR requires systems that recycle to return specific recycle flows
through all processes of the system's existing conventional or direct
filtration system or at an alternate location approved by the state.
Applies to public water systems that use surface water or ground water
under the direct influence of surface water, practice conventional or
direct filtration, and recycle spent filter backwash, thickener supernatant,
or liquids from dewatering processes.
                      Public  Health  Benefits
                      Implementation of
                      FBRR will result in
                       Reduction in risk of illness from microbial pathogens in
                       drinking water, particularly Cryptosporidium.
                      Estimated impacts of
                      the FBRR include . , ,
                       FBRR will apply to an estimated 4,650 systems serving
                       35 million Americans.

                       Fewer than 400 systems are expected to require capital

                       Annualized capital costs incurred by public water systems
                       associated with recycle modifications are estimated to be
                       $5.8 million.

                       Mean annual cost per household is estimated to be less
                       than $1.70 for 99 percent of the affected households and
                       between $1.70 and $100 for the remaining one percent of
                       affected households.
                      Conventional and Direct Filtration
                        Conventional filtration, as defined in 40 CFR 141.2, is a series of processes including
                        coagulation, flocculation, sedimentation, and filtration resulting in substantial
                        participate removal. Conventional filtration is the most common type of filtration.

                        Direct filtration, as defined in 40 CFR 141.2, is a series of processes including
                        coagulation and filtration, but excluding sedimentation, and resulting in substantial
                        participate removal. Typically, direct filtration can be used only with high-quality raw
                        water that has low levels of turbidity and suspended solids.

                                   Spent Filter Backwash Water - A stream containing particles that are dislodged from
                                   filter media when water is forced back through a filter (backwashed) to clean the filter.

                                   Thickener Supernatant - A stream containing the decant from a sedimentation basin,
                                   clarifier or other unit that is used to treat water, solids, or semi-solids from the primary
                                   treatment processes.

                                   Liquids From Dewaterina Processes - A stream containing liquids generated from a
                                   unit used to concentrate solids for disposal.
Critical Deadlines and Requirements
For Drinking Water Systems
December 8, 2003
June 8, 2004
June 8, 2006
Submit recycle notification to the state.
Return recycle flows through the processes of a system's
existing conventional or direct filtration system or an alternate
recycle location approved by the state (a 2-year extension is
available for systems making capital improvements to modify
recycle location).
Collect recycle flow information and retain on file.
Complete all capital improvements associated with relocating
recycle return location (if necessary).
For States
June 8, 2003
June 8, 2005
States submit FBRR primacy revision application to EPA
(triggers interim primacy).
Primacy extension deadline - all states with an extension must
submit primacy revision applications to EPA.
                                     .at does a recycle  notification  include?
                                    Plant schematic showing origin of recycle flows, how recycle flows are conveyed,
                                    and return location of recycle flows.

                                    Typical recycle flows (gpm), highest observed plant flow experienced in the previous
                                    year (gpm), and design flow for the treatment plant (gpm).
                                    State-approved plant operating capacity (if applicable).
For additional information on
the FBRR

Call the Safe Drinking Water
Hotline at 1-800-426-4791; visit
the EPA web site at
www.epa.gov/safewater; or
contact your state drinking water

Additional material is available at
What  recycle flow  information  does a  system  need
to collect  and retain  on  file?
   Copy of recycle notification and information submitted to the state.

   List of all recycle flows and frequency with which they are returned.

   Average and maximum backwash flow rates through filters, and average and
   maximum duration of filter backwash process (in minutes).

   Typical filter run length and written summary of how filter run length is determined.

   Type of treatment provided for recycle flows.

   Data on the physical dimension of the equalization and/or treatment units, typical
   and maximum hydraulic loading rates, types of treatment chemicals used,
   average dose, frequency of use, and frequency at which solids are removed, if