Liquid News

Lake Forest Will Irrigate With Recycled Water

Lake Forest prides itself on meandering greenbelts and plentiful parks. Keeping them vibrant takes water—and recycled water is becoming the go-to source to irrigate the city’s public spaces.

IRWD is partnering right now with Lake Forest to convert irrigation systems along public parkways near Bake Parkway, Toledo Way and Jeronimo Road to use recycled water. Flowing through new purple pipe, this highly treated and disinfected sewer water is most commonly used for irrigation. The project, now under construction, will save an estimated four million gallons of drinking water per year.

It’s not the first recycled water project the city and the District have taken on. And it won’t be the last.

“Water-efficient landscaping has been a priority of our city for many years, and the use of recycled water for irrigation makes us good stewards of the environment as well as good stewards of tax dollars because it’s less expensive,” said Tom Wheeler, Lake Forest director of public works. “Water is too valuable to use just once.”

Water-efficient landscaping has been a priority too. In 2016, Lake Forest adopted a policy requiring drought-tolerant plants in new residential and commercial landscapes, with more relaxed guidelines in areas that use recycled water for irrigation. The city’s new Civic Center, under construction on Civic Center Drive, will use recycled water for landscaping and will be dual-plumbed to use recycled water for flushing toilets and urinals.

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