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What is Reclaimed Water?

Views: 305     Author: Site Editor     Publish Time: 2021-04-22      Origin: Site

If you’re a contractor who installs and maintains sprinkler systems, you may have heard about using reclaimed water to irrigate homeowners’ lawns. So do you really know what is reclaimed water?



1. What is Reclaimed Water?

Reclaimed water goes by different names:

Recycled water

Water recycling

Effluent water


Wastewater, either from residential, commercial or industrial entities, travels to a wastewater treatment plant where it goes through a thorough treatment process including:

Solid removal

Organic matter reduction

Disinfectant sterilization


While it may be safe to use recycled water for your lawn and gardens, it’s not safe to drink.


In fact, municipalities that encourage water recycling for lawns and landscapes discourage effluent water to be used on any fruit or vegetable gardens because these plants are edible.


Reclaimed water is a limited resource and should be used wisely. Reclaimed water travels from the sewage treatment plant to houses and businesses through a separate reclaimed water pipe system. These pipes are identified by the purple color.



2. Benefits of Using Reclaimed Water

-Creates an alternate water source for irrigation while reducing demand on potable water sources utilized for drinking water.

-Reduces the cost of landscape irrigation when it replaces potable water.

-Reduces fertilizer costs due to the nitrogen and phosphorus in reclaimed water.

-Beautifies our community by enhancing the appearance of landscaping.



91-1-wastewater treatment

3. How is Reclaimed Water Treated?

The treatment process for reclaimed water removes and kills harmful bacteria, viruses, and other pathogens. Reclaimed water treatment and delivery to customers (by pipe or by truck) must follow rigorous requirements in state rules and permits.


We apply the same trusted filtration and disinfection technologies used in the drinking water treatment to reclaim water. Reclaimed water operators ensure the water is safe before use through reliable treatment and redundant backup processes in the facility design.


The treatment level required for each use depends on whether the public can be exposed to the water after it is treated. Reclaimed water must also meet existing state laws for discharge to the environment.


Water treatment systems automatically divert any water that is not fully treated. This means the public will not encounter reclaimed water unless it is safe for its approved use.


We follow the Safe Drinking Water principle of “Multiple Protective Barriers, which includes continuous monitoring, operation, and maintenance by well-trained and state-certified operators.



In summary, reclaimed water is not drinking water. It can be used for watering grass and plants at parks and golf courses, to replenish groundwater, to flush toilets in commercial and industrial buildings, or for similar purposes. It is delivered through purple pipes to help alert construction workers, plumbers, and others that it is reclaimed water and not intended for drinking.


The process of water reclaiming uses advanced water treatment technologies to filter and remove pathogens and contaminants. This turns wasted water into a valuable resource that does not need to be drawn from an aquifer or lake.

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