As populations increase, the demand for water increases. One way to meet this demand is to reclaim wastewater. Communities collect billions of gallons of domestic wastewater from homes and businesses every day, 99.97% of which is just water. Reclaiming this water allows communities to beneficially recycle billions of gallons of water for immediate and beneficial use.
What is Reclaimed Water?
Reclaimed water is domestic wastewater that receives advanced treatment, filtration and high-level disinfection processes so the water can be safely recycled and distributed back into to the community for a variety of uses.
Melbourne has been safely distributing reclaimed water to our community for 30 years. Reclaimed water customers in Melbourne help recycle an average of 2.2 million gallons of water every day.
Current customers include both City golf courses (Crane Creek Reserve and Mallards Landing), Orlando-Melbourne International Airport, 5 local parks, 2 high schools and more than 1,000 commercial and single-family properties.
Watch this video from University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) for an overview of reclaimed water:
What is Reclaimed Water Used For?
In the City of Melbourne, currently reclaimed water can be used for:
- Irrigating lawns and landscapes
- Filling decorative ponds and fountains
- Commercial water-cooled air conditioning systems
- Construction site dust control
See this video from UF/IFAS for an overview of common reclaimed water uses:
What is Reclaimed Water NOT Used For?
- It is NOT used for drinking, bathing or cooking.
- It is NOT used to fill swimming pools, hot tubs or wading pools.
- It is NOT used to fill water toys (such as squirt guns), for water play or for recreation involving water contact.
- It must NOT be connected to residential plumbing for toilet flushing or other potable uses.
- It is NOT used for washing vehicles or washing down sidewalks and driveways.
- It is NOT used for direct spray irrigation of fruits and vegetables that are not peeled, skinned, cooked or thermally processed before consumption Reclaimed Water and Your Garden
No Watering Restrictions; Wise Use is Encouraged
The City of Melbourne supplies reclaimed water to our customers on a 24-hour/7-days-a-week/365-day per-year schedule. Reclaimed water is not subject to year-around water restrictions that apply to potable water or groundwater well irrigation systems. However, because all water is valuable, reclaimed water customers are encouraged to use it wisely and follow recommended best practices for irrigation. Too much water on your lawn and landscape can be just as harmful as not enough water. For more information, see these irrigation tips from IFAS.
How to Get Reclaimed Water - click here for more on connecting to reclaimed water
Proper and Safe Use of Reclaimed Water - click here for more on cross-connection, backflow protection and use of hose bibs
Innovations in Reclaimed Water - click here for more on how other communities are tapping into reclaimed water’s vast potential
Learn More About Reclaimed Water - click here for additional links that provide more information on reclaimed water