What is Reclaimed Water?
Tucson Water uses some of its recycled water to produce reclaimed water. This water is specially treated for irrigation and a variety of other uses, but is not treated to be used for drinking and bathing (potability). The nitrogen and phosphorus in reclaimed water provide fertilizer for plants and grass.
The Benefits of Using Reclaimed Water
Recycling water for use as reclaimed water:
- Uses a local renewable water source.
- Helps to ensure reliable water supplies today and for the future.
- Has a variety of targeted applications such as irrigation, dust control, and industrial uses.
- Can save customers money because rates are lower than most of the large volume rates for drinking water.
How it’s Delivered
Tucson Water delivers reclaimed water through pipes and facilities that are separate from its drinking water supply system. The reclaimed system includes 160 miles of pipe and 15 million gallons of storage in enclosed reservoirs. Tucson Water has been recycling water for irrigation and other uses since 1984.
Tucson Water delivers reclaimed water to more than 700 homes in our community as well as to golf courses, parks, and schools. Using reclaimed water to irrigate plants and landscaping saves more than six billion gallons of drinking water a year – enough to supply more than 60,000 families.
Reclaimed Water Basics – Do:
- Wash with soap and drinking water if you have come into contact with reclaimed water.
- Review the Reclaimed Water Customer Information Packet.
- Use the checklist provided in your Reclaimed Water Customer Information Packet to conduct an annual inspection of your property.
- Promptly report any reclaimed water discharges that leave your property to Tucson Water by completing an online form at tucsonaz.gov/water/report_recl or by calling 520-791-2650.
- Ask a qualified plumber about thermal expansion protection for your water heater. For more information, learn more from the 2015 Uniform Plumbing Code .
Reclaimed Water Special Requirements
- Do not allow human or pet consumption of reclaimed water.
- Do not connect the reclaimed water system to the drinking water system.
- Do not bathe in reclaimed water.
- Do not use reclaimed water in swimming pools or spas.
- Never use reclaimed water in aquariums.
- Do not use reclaimed water in evaporative cooling equipment or misting systems.
- Do not use reclaimed water in fountains.
- Do not wash vehicles, play equipment, driveways, or sidewalks with reclaimed water.
Preventing Reclaimed Water Backflow
The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) requires all sites having reclaimed water service to have a backflow prevention assembly on the drinking water service.