What’s Up with the Purple Pipe?
What is recycled water?
Recycled water is water that leaves your home or business, enters our sewer system, and is treated at one of the four regional water reclamation facilities throughout EMWD’s service area.
You can easily identify recycled water as it has its own distribution system which is purple, so when you see purple piping out in the community the water being used is recycled.
What is recycled water used for?
The recycled water program has been serving the community since 1966. Customers of the program include farmers, schools, cities, and various landscaping areas such as golf courses, and community recreational facilities.
Why is recycled water important?
Recycled water is a constant, reliable source of water, and EMWD proudly utilizes 100% of its recycled water supply. During times of drought, there are no restrictions on the use of this water, and because it’s priced lower than drinking water, it allows our customers to water agricultural fields and landscapes more economically. Overall, recycled water allows EMWD to free up more drinking water supplies for customer use and have a more dependable supply in a drought.
To encourage the use of recycled water, EMWD launched its nationally recognized Accelerated Retrofit Program. Through this program, EMWD has successfully partnered with schools, cities, and farmers to convert landscapes and irrigation systems from using drinking water supplies to using recycled water supplies.
The future of recycled water?
EMWD is currently designing a new facility that will purify recycled water to eventually be used for general consumption. The treatment process is a multi-stage one that will uses microfiltration and reverse osmosis. Once the water has been purified, it will then be blended with other treated recycled water supplies and sent to replenishment ponds. The water will then seep into the ground and blend with other groundwater sources, traveling over several years as part of the natural purification process. It will be cleaned one last time before it is sent to homes.
Treating recycled water to eventually become drinking water is a practice that has already been in place across the nation and is an essential step in maximizing our water supplies for future droughts.