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Reclaimed or reuse water is wastewater that has been treated to a good clear appearance, that is odorless, bacteriologically safe, and has low levels of nitrogen and phosphorus.
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Yes, the City of Apopka’s reclaimed water must meet very strict standards that are regulated by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) before it can leave our treatment plant. FDEP requires high levels of treatment that includes filtration, disinfection, and continuous 24 hour a day monitoring for water quality. However, under current FDEP regulations reclaimed water is not allowed to be used for drinking, cooking, filling swimming pools and spas, or to cool residential air-conditioning systems. There is no known danger to individual human health from coming in contact with reuse water, when it is being used for its intended purpose.
Absolutely, you however have to take a few precautions. In-ground reuse sprinkler systems can be used on any fruits or vegetables that are eaten after being peeled (like citrus fruits) or vegetables that are cooked (things like potatoes, beans, or squash). Reclaimed water can not be sprayed directly onto any fruit or vegetable that can be eaten raw with the skin or peel still on (such as lettuce, strawberries, or tomatoes.) These types of crops can only be irrigated with a drip type irrigation system, where the water seeps directly into the soil around the roots of the plants.
Yes, if it is currently available at your property. City ordinances prohibit the use of potable drinking water for irrigation, if reuse is available. All new developments must be piped for reclaimed water irrigation.
Yes, per City and State mandates you are required to have an approved backflow prevention device installed on your drinking water line, if you have an irrigation system installed in you yard. This backflow device is required whether you have reclaimed water or not. This device is used to prevent reclaimed or any contaminated water from entering the drinking water system should pipelines become accidentally crossed. Residential backflow prevention devices must be tested and certified every two tears to insure they are working properly.
Yes, reclaimed water, like all water is a valuable resource. Always use all forms of water in a conservative manner. In you yard, use mulch in plant beds to help prevent evaporation, make sure that your irrigation system has a working rain sensor.
Please see the Utility Billing Section of the City’s website or feel free to call them at 407-703-1727.