Using Recycled Water

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Use Requirements

  1. Post recycled water signs in areas where recycled water is used.
  2. Limit recycled water use to the approved uses as indicated below.
  3. Follow the Recycled Water Handling and Use Instructions, also detailed below.
  4. For complete use requirements and recommendations, click here.

Recycled Water - Approved Uses

Although recycled water undergoes a high level of additional treatment, it is not approved for drinking. For this reason, there are conditions for the use of recycled water. Recycled water is approved by the State Water Resources Control Board's Division of Drinking Water for the following uses:

Permanent Recycled Water Connection**
Commercial Fill Station
Residential Fill Station
Landscape irrigation
Approved   Approved  
Car Washing
Approved   Conditional**
Not Approved
Flushing Toilets and Urinals
Approved   Not Approved   Not Approved  
Approved   Approved  Not Approved  
Water Features (Fountains, running streams etc.)
Approved   Approved  Approved
Dust Control (Streets, sidewalks, walkways)
Approved   Conditional**
Not Approved  
Approved   Conditional**
Backfill Consolidation
Approved   Approved 
Not Approved  
Soil Compaction
Approved   Approved  Not Approved  
Commercial Laundry
Approved   Not Approved   Not Approved  
Mixing Concrete**
Approved   Conditional**   Not Approved  
Window Washing
Approved   Conditional**   Not Approved  
Fire Fighting
Approved   Not Approved   Not Approved  

** Use conditions are available in Appendix F of the Redwood City Recycled Water User Guidelines.

DO NOT use recycled water for:

  • Cooking, drinking, or food preparation.
  • Bathing or showering.
  • Swimming pools or spas.
  • Children's water toys.
  • Plumbing to the household domestic plumbing system.

Recycled Water Handling and Use Instructions

  1. Users should apply hand sanitizer or wash hands with soap and potable water after working with recycled water.
  2. DO NOT place recycled water in a storage container that is connected to the landscape or the onsite drinking water supply.
  3. DO NOT dispose of recycled water in the street gutter or storm drain system. Either discharge it to a landscaped area, or to the sanitary sewer system via an onsite cleanout.
  4. Vegetables and fruits from your garden should be washed with potable water prior to eating or cooking.

For Commercial Users Only

Each recycled water site must be maintained and operated by a designated Site Supervisor at all times. The Site Supervisor is responsible for the following duties:

  • Maintain the site in compliance with State regulations.
  • Report site information to the City monthly.
  • Avoid and/or detect cross connections to the potable water system, including run-off of recycled water into storm drains, streets, and sidewalks.
  • Train on-site personnel in the safe handling and use of recycled water. This includes any third-party contractors that may conduct work on the site and use recycled water.
  • Maintain the site's recycled water system in good order: prevent and fix leaks, minimize overspray.
  • Notify and submit to the City plans for proposed modifications to any part of the recycled water or potable water system for authorization.

Promptly notify Public Works if there is a change in site supervisor by calling (650) 780-7464.

    Redwood City, California - Code of Ordinances Article: VIII. - Recycled Water Use

    Recycled water is required for select purposes. See the full code of ordinances or the tables below for details.

    Sec. 38.52. - Recycled Water Service Area; Required Use:

    New properties
    existing properties
    Commercial Internal dual plumbing/Irrigation Irrigation
    Industrial Projects Internal dual plumbing/Irrigation Irrigation
    Institutional/Governmental Internal dual plumbing/Irrigation  N/A
    Apartments/Condominiums Internal dual plumbing/Irrigation  N/A
    Construction/Dust Control Projects Dust control activities Dust control activities

    Sec. 38.52. - Voluntary Use Inside and Outside of The Recycled Water Service Area:

    New properties
    existing properties
    Commercial Outside: Internal dual plumbing/Irrigation Inside: Internal dual plumbing, internal cooling towers and evaporative coolers
    Industrial Projects Outside/Inside: Industrial processes and cooling Inside/Outside: Industrial processes and cooling
    Institutional/Governmental Outside: Internal dual plumbing/Irrigation 

    Inside: Internal dual plumbing/Irrigation

    Apartments/Condominiums Outside/Inside: Internal dual plumbing/Irrigation  Inside/Outside: Irrigation
    Home Owner Associations Outside/Inside: Irrigation Inside/Outside: Irrigation