Reclaimed, Reused, Recycled Water…What?

Maybe you’ve heard of at least one of the water types mentioned in the title?  Recycled water… Reclaimed water… Or reuse water.  Are you wondering “What’s the difference between these types ofreuse station waters?  Is there any difference?  And what does that even mean?”

Great news!  I’m going to answer those burning questions now!

Truth be told, they are all really the same thing.  It’s just different ways to call the water from the wastewater treatment plant after it’s been cleaned up.  Normal procedure is that the City cleans up the wastewater (aka sewer water) and then releases it into Brushy Creek so that it can flow downstream, keep the aquatic life alive that is living in the creek, and also be withdrawn by other water users downstream.  (The state has regulations on what “clean” actually means, so it won’t make anyone sick or cause pollution.)

Instead of releasing all the cleaned wastewater into the creek, the City has made the recycled water available in select areas of town for landscape irrigation, at a lower cost than the treated drinking water that is traditionally used to water landscapes.  Some City parks, neighborhoods, and businesses have been using this recycled water for irrigation for a couple of years now!  This is a really good thing, because it means less of our valuable drinking water is being poured on the ground to water the landscape.  This helps with the City’s conservation efforts, by increasing the amount of potable (drinking) water that we have available.reuse tank

The recycled water is only available in certain areas of town (on the east side of I-35), close to where the recycled water line is in the ground.  By the way, the City’s wastewater treatment plant is on the south side of Hwy 79, nearly across the street from the Dell Diamond.  So, the recycled water line is coming out of the plant, under Hwy 79, and travels north through Old Settlers Park up toward University Boulevard.  You can see the large recycled water elevated storage tank off at University Boulevard and Sandy Brook Drive, close to the Texas State University campus.  It has a purple-ish stripe along the top of the tank.  The purple color means it’s not drinking water.

The City also has a new re-use/cycled water fill station at Old Settlers Park, just behind the Dell Diamond.  That’s what you see in the top picture.  This water is available FREE of charge to customers for commercial irrigation, development, or construction use only.  The contractor simply has to have a vehicle to put the water in (like a tank truck) and have the equipment to open the purple fire hydrant and hook up their truck to take the water.

The City envisions that developers and construction crews, or even landscapers, will use this water during new construction to keep the dust down, or water new landscaping, or whatever other use that they would normally use treated drinking water for.  Again, that’s good for our city and for conservation, in that expensive, clean, potable water that isn’t being used for drinking or health or safety purposes (cooking, cleaning), isn’t being wasted.  It essentially extends our drinking water supply, which is a huge necessity in times of drought and with our continued population growth.

How Much Water?

The heat is on, Finally!…or maybe you’re thinking more like me, and bring back the rain!  Well, in the last few weeks with no rain and still none in the forecasts, our water usage has gone up.  It’s increased.  I know mine has at my house, I’ve had to water the yard some; and in the […]

Invest in Your Irrigation System

For this Smart Irrigation Month blog, I’d like to borrow from an article from the Irrigation Association, about what to think about when installing a new system and the upkeep of your current one. Using an automated irrigation system is one of the best ways to keep your lawn and landscape beautiful and healthy.  Plan […]

Use Your Head

We’re still in Smart Irrigation month, and I want to share our recent video on the three main types of sprinkler heads.  It is important to know which kind or kinds you have, because the type of sprinkler head you have, determines how long the station (or zone) should be set to run.  Some heads […]

Sprinkler System Check-Ups

Can you believe it’s July already??  July is “Smart Irrigation Month” deemed so by the Irrigation Association since 2005, because that’s typically when the hottest temperatures occur.  With high and hot temperatures come higher water use, it’s just a given.  We still want our landscapes to look as good as they have the rest of […]

Lawn Problems

Happy Summer!  Now that the rains have slightly slowed down, and the sun is out (and the wonderful humidity is here), I’ve been seeing more people watering their yards and also hearing questions like “why is my grass brown?” Before we dive into that, I want to fully acknowledge that I’m not a plant disease […]

Lake Georgetown–Full!

  • May 29, 2015

  • By Jessica Woods

  • Posted In: Uncategorized

So, it’s shocking to me how much things can change in a month! I wrote the blog about Lake Georgetown being just over half-full and took the picture at the top at that time. You can see on the far side of the lake all of the white intake pipes sticking out of the water. […]

Watering in the Rain

Lots of rain happening of late, thanks to El Nino! It has delayed any outdoor watering so far this year, which is great. If you happened to turn your irrigation system controller on before the rains came, hopefully you have a rain sensor (a.k.a. rain shut-off device) or other weather system that will prevent your sprinkler […]

Lake Georgetown: Go See!

The weather has been hit or miss so far this spring for getting a little spring cleaning yard work done, but I’m not going to complain about the wet weekends!!  The wildflowers have been gorgeous (check out my pictures) AND the rain has meant we haven’t had to turn on our sprinklers yet this year, which […]

Watching our figures

Of all the City of Round Rock departments you know about—Utilities, Transportation, Parks and Recreation, Police, Fire, etc.—which group springs to mind when you think of exercise and fitness? You didn’t name “Library”, did you? And yet–so far–this year’s Million Mile Month  participation by City of Round Rock includes more entries from the library than from any other […]