Neda Simeonova is editorial director of Water & Wastes Digest. Simeonova can be reached at [email protected] or 847.391.1011.
Mar 23, 2015

Expanding Uses for Recycled Water

The city of San José, Calif., Environmental Services Department is taking recycled water a step further to help conserve precious drinking water.

Water from its South Bay Water Recycling system, a recycled wholesaler serving the cities of San José, Santa Clara and Milpitas, is now available at truck fill stations for three approved uses: construction trucks that spray water to keep down dust at construction sites, city trucks that perform sewer cleanouts and street sweeping trucks that mist the street surface as they sweep.

The prolonged drought that has gripped the state for the past four years is pushing the city to continue to find solutions to ensure a stable water supply.

According to the Environmental Services Department, seven filling stations currently are operational in San José, five recycled water filling stations are available in the Milpitas area, and a filling station in Santa Clara is scheduled to open later in 2015.

As water availability in the region remains a concern, opposition to a wider use for recycled water is diminishing quickly. In fact, the state recently allocated $200 million in grants to jump-start recycled water programs and slashed interest rates on $800 million more in loans, The Sacramento Bee reported.

It’s only a matter of time before consumer concerns and the well-publicized “yuck factor” are overcome and the state takes a step toward direct potable reuse.