The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (RI DEM) Division of Water Resources, with input from the Division of Agriculture, created the Best Management Practices (BMPs) for the Discharge of Produce Wash Water from Wash and Pack Stations to the Ground Surface guidance document. This document acknowledges the practicle need for farms to discharge wash water to the ground if they are not a permanant facility involved in processing of any sort. If farms operate in accordance with the BMPs outlined, then they do not require any water capture and treatment permitting from the RI DEM Division of Water Resources.
The term potable, in this case, simply refers to water that is “fit to drink”. We would expect that any grower who is utilizing water to wash produce from a private or municipal water source is ensuring that it is safe to drink by keeping up to date with any state/municipal testing recommendations. If the water used is following our RI Department of Health or municipal safe drinking water standards, then the water being discharged according to these BMPs is allowed.