Efficiency Thrives with Recycled Water

July is Smart Irrigation Month and IRWD is spotlighting the use of recycled water in local landscaping. Fun fact: 80% of the public and commercial irrigated landscape in our service area—including parks, medians and golf courses—is watered with recycled water.

IRWD’s recycled water is not for drinking or for other uses inside the home. But it is vital to IRWD’s water-efficiency program and a driver of the local economy, because every gallon of recycled water saves a gallon of drinking water. Each year, IRWD recycles about 9 billion gallons of water and stores it in reservoirs for use in dry times—a priority as we experience more volatile climate extremes.

Recycled water is produced through a multi-step treatment process and delivered through an extensive distribution system. This dedicated system keeps recycled water completely separate from drinking water, using purple pipe for easy identification. The system includes more than 500 miles of pipe and is still growing. IRWD pioneered the purple piping, which has become the international symbol for recycled water.

Sites in the IRWD service area that use recycled water in landscaping include the University of California, Irvine; Irvine Valley College; golf courses such as Strawberry Farms and Shady Canyon; the Great Park; the Villages of Irvine; and many more.

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