Liquid News

IRWD Customers Enjoy Free — and Guilt-Free — Recycled Water for Plants

Coming from South Africa, Analize Mans likes a lush, green garden, and she tends hers guilt-free.

She is one of many hard-core regulars to take advantage of IRWD’s Residential Recycled Water Filling Station, where District customers can drive up and fill their own containers with recycled water, for free.

Open daily, except on holidays and when it’s raining, the station operates out of the Sand Canyon Avenue facility. Mans comes as often as nine times in a week in hot weather — filling up a large plastic drum and a 250-gallon container that she found on the internet and purchased for $100 from a guy in L.A.

A well-used pickup makes the transport easier, but others have found innovative ways to take advantage of the program using ordinary passenger vehicles.

Station worker Tim Smith has seen people haul rain barrels inside the wheel wells of their SUVs. Some cram their trunks with rows of sealed buckets. A Prius owner found a flat, 200-gallon container that fits snugly inside the back of the car. “That’s environmental all around,” he said.

Mans uses the two containers in her truck exclusively for transport, and draws from them to fill other containers set up strategically in her garden once she gets home. A pump connected to an impact sprinkler, projects a rotating spray across the yard with a “chick-chick-chick-chick” — giving her plants all the water they need.

“I don’t use my in-ground irrigation system anymore,” Mans said.

Since 2015, she has collected more than 74,000 gallons of recycled water at the station: every drop of which used has meant a drop of drinking water saved.

Mans admits to spending some money to get her plan going, but in the end — she states proudly — she and her husband have saved a lot of money.

“This works really well for us,” she said. “I’m really thankful for the free water.”

Her avocado and papaya trees are grateful for it, too.

Customers must register in advance to take advantage of the program, and there are rules to be followed. For more information or to apply, visit irwd.com/services/fill-station or call 949-453-5500.

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