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Scotts Valley Water District    
2 Civic Center Dr. Scotts Valley, CA 95066 
(831) 438-2363 
::  contact@svwd
.org
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Recycled Water



Existing Customers | Information for The Vineyards, Glendwood Scotts Valley, and Windward Place  



What is recycled water?
Why must I use recycled water?
Is recycled water safe?
How is recycled water used at my home?
Can I use recycled water for other uses around my home?
Can I extend my irrigation system to other landscaped areas?
What is a backflow device?
Is additional maintenance necessary because of the backflow device?      
Will recycled water harm my pets?
How is using recycled water different?
What is the annual inspection?
Additional Homeowner Responsibilities:
Who can I contact for more information or questions?

 



 
View Images of Gardens
using Recycled Water

 

Forms and Documents

On-Site Design Manual


What is recycled water?
Recycled water is wastewater that has received advanced treatment so that it can be safely used for irrigation and other non-potable uses. Recycled water supplied by SVWD meets all the requirements set by the California Department of Health Services, which are the most stringent in the world. SVWD distributes disinfected tertiary recycled water, the highest of four classes of recycled water recognized in current regulations. The recycled water distributed by SVWD is crystal clear, odorless, and may be used for many non-potable uses including irrigation of schools, parks, golf courses, pasture for grazing animals, and irrigation of all types of food crops (including those eaten raw). 

Visit the Waste Water Treatment Plant website to read more on recycled water. 

Why must I use recycled water?
California has a dry climate with limited fresh water resources. It is wasteful to use drinking water for non-potable uses. To help curb this waste, the District has expended vast amounts of resources toward the development of recycled water treatment and distribution facilities. Similar to the recycling of bottles, cans, and paper - water is too precious to use just once. Recycled water use is an important part of using our resources wisely.

 

Is recycled water safe?
Yes. Although recycled water is non-potable, it is safe to use for irrigation and other approved uses. The State Department of Health Services heavily regulates recycled water. Potential health risks associated with the use of recycled water have been well documented nationwide as water-recycling projects are implemented and carefully monitored by responsible local health authorities and water quality control agencies. Recycled water used appropriately does not pose a significant health risk. No health related problems have ever been associated with the appropriate use of recycled water. It is not intended for consumption. Contact with recycled water should be kept to a minimum and no temporary or permanent connections to the household plumbing may be made under any circumstances. Connections between the recycled irrigation system and the plumbing in your home are a violation of local building ordinances and a potential risk to your family's health.
Read more about the recycled water treatment process.
 

How is recycled water used at my home?
Your front yard landscaping and common areas are watered through a fully automatic spray/drip irrigation system and this is the only application authorized for your property. This type of irrigation system should be low maintenance and provide the greatest conservation effort for your landscape.

 

Can I use recycled water for other uses around my home?
No. The State Health Department and the District must approve each use of recycled water. Although recycled water is of a quality suitable for other uses, current regulations don't allow this water to be used for other uses around residential property. The recycled water piping must never be extended to the inside of your home.

 

Can I extend my irrigation system to other landscaped areas?
Your property has been designed with a full landscape. Any extension or modification of the irrigation system must first be reviewed and approved by the SVWD. This process ensures that the recycled water irrigation system and the potable water systems are maintained in completely separate systems.

 

What is a backflow device?
A backflow device is installed in the potable water line as it enters your house. This device prevents water from returning to the domestic water system once it flows through the device. This device is required by California regulation whenever a non-potable water source is present on a property.

 

Is additional maintenance necessary because of the backflow device?
Yes. It's necessary to maintain the backflow device in good working order. To ensure that it is working properly, annual testing is required. The test needs to be performed by a certified backflow device tester. The District will send you a test form and the phone numbers of local certified testers when it is necessary to have the device tested.

 

Will recycled water harm my pets?
Recycled water, used appropriately, will not harm pets. However, it is not intended to be used for drinking water for pets. Remember that recycled water is highly treated and disinfected.

 

How is using recycled water different?
There are several differences. All hard piping used in the irrigation system is colored purple, there are no hose bibs connected to the irrigation system, and there may be signs posted around the development indicating the use of recycled water. All of these safeguards are already in place and serve to ensure that the recycled water irrigation system is not accidentally connected to the domestic water system. Annual system inspections are also an important safeguard.

 

What is the annual inspection?
Where recycled water is used, it is necessary to conduct an annual inspection of the recycled water system. This inspection confirms that both the recycled water system and the domestic water system remain separate. Annual testing of the backflow assembly is another aspect of the annual inspection. In order to inspect the system, the District will need access to the front and back yard. We will contact you ahead of time to schedule this simple visual inspection.

 

Additional Homeowner Responsibilities:
It shall be the responsibility of the homeowner to provide the Residential Use of Recycled Water Information Packet, and the Rules and Regulations for Recycled Water Customers to family members, renters, and other occupants. For additional copies please contact the District’s Recycled Water Coordinator.

 

Who can I contact for more information or questions?
The District has qualified personnel with extensive training and experience with recycled water. Staff is available to discuss your concerns or question. You may contact the Recycled Water Coordinator (831) 438-1644 or (831) 438-2363.
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