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 and Use
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:
- Filling swimming pools, hot tubs or wading pools
- Filling water toys such as squirt guns
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. How do I properly use reclaimed water?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 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. What's the purpose of the 'reclaimed water in use' signs?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 drinking.
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 a.m. to 4 p.m. 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 sjrwmd.com/wateringrestrictions