Reclaimed, recycled, desalinated, potable, non-potable: what do all these terms have in common? These all describe states of water as it goes through the various stages of consumption. Potable water is drinkable and readily available through the tap for all sorts of applications. However, we know that in our case, we import a good amount of our water supply. When we use potable water on applications like irrigation or industry uses, that means that there is less potable water available for drinking. So, what are we to do? That’s where recycled water and desalinated water come into play.
Recycled water is wastewater that has been purified through a high level of treatment. This processed water is treated to strict standards set by the California Department of Health Services and is constantly monitored by local, state, and federal regulatory agencies to ensure it continuously meets those standards. Recycled water has been found safe for irrigation, industrial, and agricultural uses.
Mother Nature has been recycling all of our water for billions of years through the hydraulic cycle, a natural cleansing process of sedimentation, organic consumption, natural filtration, and disinfection. Modern wastewater treatment technology essentially speeds up this natural process.
All recycled water pipes are purple as are the meters, sprinkler heads, and all other water devices. In addition, areas using recycled water must post a purple disclaimer sign informing the public that their site is using recycle or reclaimed which is not suitable for drinking.
The goal of using recycled water is to conserve the use of potable water for highest and best use and to reduce our dependency on expensive, imported water.
Benefits of Recycled Water
Recycled water provides a reliable, low cost water supply for irrigation and industrial water uses within a city. It will also reduce the city’s need for potable water. Finally, recycled water is less costly than potable water.
Groundwater can contain high concentrations of salt, minerals, and various types of pollutants. In some circumstances, the water must be treated before it can be used again. Desalter facilities treat the water to remove pollutants. One treatment method passes water through membranes that filter out particles. For more information on local desalting processes, visit the Chino Basin Desalter Authority website.
CBWCD Invests in Recycled Water!
Since 2008, the District has funded conversion projects for local communities to change their outdoor irrigation over to recycled water use. Investing in recycled water is a practical way to protect our water supply and to make sure that drinking water can go to better and higher uses.
Below is a list of funded projects--is your school or local park on the list?
Wilderness Park/Demonstration Garden
Chaffey Joint Union High School District ($29,250)