What is Recycled Water?
When we think of things that can be recycled, we often think of aluminum cans, glass containers, and newspaper, but water can also be recycled. Recycled water is treated wastewater that has been purified through multiple treatment processes to a level that meets the quality and safety standards set by the California Department of Public Health. After meeting these standards recycled water is safe for a variety of beneficial uses such as agricultural and landscape irrigation, commercial car washes and even recharging groundwater basins.
Recycled Water Benefits
- Preserves groundwater, our drinking water, for human consumption.
- Decreases the amount of wastewater discharge that may damage and pollute the ecosystems of the body of water where it is discharged.
- Repurposes water for useful purposes such as agricultural and landscape irrigation, industrial processes and replenishing groundwater sources.
- Reestablish or create new wetlands, which create multiple benefits for local ecosystems and groundwater resources.
Recycled Water Use in Scotts Valley
Recycled water in Scotts Valley is typically used for commercial, industrial, institutional and homeowners associations (HOA) customers. We currently do not serve individual single-family homes unless they are part of an HOA that shares one or more landscape irrigation meter and qualifies for recycled water service.
Prior to receiving recycled water, the site must be approved by Scotts Valley Water District (SVWD). The procedures for approval are slightly different depending on whether the service will be provided to a new facility or an existing facility. The applicant should check for supplementary guidelines or requirements that may be specific to the site.
Recycled Water Fill Station remains closed until an apparent benefit or critical need warrants re-launching the program.
The District opened the Recycled Water Fill Station on Kings Village Road in 2015 to provide a supply alternative for residential customers when California was in the middle of a severe drought. The station was well received by the community and had 98 permitted users signed up in the first 2 years of operation. Use of the fill station peaked in 2016 with 131,000 gallons distributed over 5 months. Visits dropped off sharply in 2017 with 57,000 gallons distributed and again in 2018 with only 56,000 gallons dispensed over the five and half months the station was open. The direct costs to operate the station in 2018 was just over $7,000, essentially costing ratepayers $125 to supply 1000 gallons of free recycled water to a small group of users.
On April 11, 2019, the SVWD Board of Directors directed staff to conclude the Recycled Water Fill Station program due to declining use and below marginal benefit to the ratepayers. Thank you for your support to the program throughout, especially during the peak of the drought.