Liquid News

Color Us Purple, Not Gray

On September 13, 2011 the Foothills Sentry noted that the Irvine Ranch Water District was a gray water pioneer and suggested that recycled water and graywater are the same. For clarification purposes, graywater and recycled water are not the same. 

Recycled water is wastewater treated, disinfected and used according to State of California standards.  IRWD produces billions of gallons of disinfected tertiary recycled water annually which is used at about 4,500 sites throughout IRWD’s service area. By contrast, graywater is typically untreated, non-disinfected wastewater from residential showers, bath tubs, sinks and washing machines that may be used to irrigate landscaping at the site where the graywater is generated. Graywater has its own set of regulations that are in the process of being updated.  

Recycled water is typically cleaner and safer than gray water and can be used for many applications including irrigation of schools, parks, golf courses and for industrial applications such as in cooling towers and for toilet and urinal flushing.  In the case of IRWD’s recycled water, it is produced at one of two treatment plants and distributed to our customers through about 450 miles of pipelines dedicated to carrying only recycled water.    

IRWD is considered a pioneer in the use of recycled water. Water recycling is an essential component of IRWD’s water supply portfolio, as any demand met with recycled water reduces the demand for high-quality drinking water. Currently, IRWD meets roughly 21 percent of its water demands with recycled water. The use of recycled water extends drinking water supplies, reduces the need for additional potable water facilities, reduces the amount of treated wastewater discharged into the ocean, reduces reliance on costly imported water supplies, and increases water supply reliability. In fact, the use of recycled water is a key component of IRWD's conservation and water use efficiency programs as every gallon of recycled water used results in a gallon of drinking water that can be saved for potable uses. 

Please click to learn more about IRWD Recycled Water.

Recycled Water is Delivered in Purple Pipes

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