Reclaimed Water for Urban Irrigation
Reclaimed water is domestic
wastewater which has been treated and disinfected to a high degree such
that it can be safely used to irrigate golf courses, parks and
residential lawns. Reclaimed water must meet strict water quality
requirements established by the Florida Department of Environmental
Protection (FDEP). Reclaimed water meets most of the state's drinking
water standards and is safe for human contact. Reclaimed water is produced at the
City’s three water reclamation facilities (WRFs).
From the WRFs, the reclaimed water is pumped through a network of pipes
to our customers. The use of reclaimed water for irrigation represents
an environmentally acceptable method for managing the effluent from the
City’s WRFs. In addition, reclaimed water represents a valuable water
resource that helps satisfy the needs of central Florida for water.
Reclaimed Water Safety
Reclaimed water can be used
for most outdoor irrigation. Vegetable gardens may be irrigated using
indirect irrigation methods such as drip systems so that reclaimed water
does not contact produce that will be eaten raw. Fruit and vegetables
that must be skinned, pealed or cooked before eating may be irrigated
using direct contact methods of irrigation such as sprinklers
Although reclaimed water has
proven to be a safe and reliable water resource for more than 20 years,
it MUST NOT BE USED FOR:
Q. How do I properly use
A. Reclaimed water is
intended for landscape irrigation using in-ground irrigation systems
only. Reclaimed water is suitable for direct irrigation of edible
plants/fruit that must be pealed, skinned or cooked before eating.
Reclaimed water must not come into direct contact with plants or
fruits that are eaten raw. Reclaimed water is not safe for drinking
and it should not be used to fill swimming pools, wading pools, hot
tubs or children’s water toys.
Q. Is reclaimed water
available throughout the City?
A . No. Reclaimed water
is available in limited areas throughout the City’s
wastewater/reclaimed water service area. For information related to
the availability of reclaimed water in your area, please call
407.246.2213 for assistance.
Q. Is there a health risk
related to contact with reclaimed water?
A. The City’s reclaimed
water is in compliance with the water reuse rules established by the
Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) for use on
areas that are accessible to the public including residential lawns,
parks and golf courses. The FDEP rules are designed to protect the
public’s health and welfare and reclaimed water is considered safe
for human contact.
Q. May I add a hose
connection to my home’s irrigation system?
A. No, hose connections
are not permitted for residential customers.
Q. Why must signs be
placed in our community advising that reclaimed water is in use?
A. State regulations
require the placement of the signs to raise awareness of the
presence of reclaimed water and that it should not be used for
Q. Do I need to make
changes to my irrigation system because of reclaimed water?
A. No. You should notice
very little difference in your irrigation results with reclaimed
water. You should use less fertilizer since reclaimed water does
contain some nitrogen and phosphorus.
Q. Is the use of
reclaimed water governed by watering restrictions?
A. No, reclaimed water
is exempt from mandatory watering restrictions; however, the City
recommends conservation minded irrigation practice avoiding
application from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM. During drought conditions or
high demand periods such as the spring time, the City may need to
limit irrigation use through mandatory watering schedules. We
encourage our customers to voluntarily follow the watering schedule
and practices recommended by the St. Johns River Water Management
District. More information is available at