Reclaimed Water

By 1984, Tucson had grown to become the largest city on the continent to be solely reliant on groundwater. At this time, Tucson Water became one of the first utilities in the country to invest in a reclaimed water system to supplement the high water demand from parks, schools, golf courses, and cemeteries. Today, Tucson Water receives treated effluent from the Pima County Agua Nueva Water Reclamation Facility and performs further treatment to distribute to customers for landscape irrigation, offsetting 4.7 billion gallons of our potable water supply every year.

That's enough to supply 43,000 average American households every year.

What is reclaimed water for?

Tucson Water delivers reclaimed water to nearly 1000 customers to irrigate their landscapes. We also use this water to bring native vegetation and wildlife back to the desert at the Sweetwater Wetlands, South Houghton Area Recharge Project, and the Santa Cruz Heritage Project. Tucson Water also recharges the local aquifer with our remaining allocation of recycled water to bolster water resources for the future.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does our drinking water have reclaimed water?

No. Reclaimed water is distributed on a totally separate network of now more than 600 miles of pipeline. When reclaimed water customers set up their connections, our certified testers are tasked to prevent any cross-connections.


Is reclaimed water safe to touch?

The treated effluent we receive from Agua Nueva Water Reclamation Facility is rated Class A by the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality and is very safe. While we do not apply the same rigorous monitoring and treatment that we use for our drinking water supply, reclaimed water is fit for recreational uses that involve partial body contact like wading. However, swimming should be avoided because of the potential for ingestion and contact with the eyes/ears/nose.


Can my dog drink reclaimed water?

The reclaimed water that Tucson provides is approved for consumption by livestock animals. For dog owners, this a matter of personal preference.


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