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It’s Water Reuse Week! Get to Know the Benefits of Reclaimed Water

Post Date:05/14/2018 11:10 AM

The City of Melbourne is joining with the St. Johns River Water Management District, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) and fellow agencies across the state in encouraging all residents to learn more about the benefits of using reclaimed water during Water Reuse Week (May 13-19).

Florida’s communities have led the way in recycling our most precious resource. More than 207 million gallons of reclaimed water is reused daily within the 18 counties of the St. Johns River Water Management District (SJRWMD). The City of Melbourne alone reclaims about 2.2 million gallons a day or 30% of all collected wastewater.

“In order to meet our future water demands and protect our natural resources, we have to continue supporting use of reclaimed water to meet our outdoor watering needs and reduce demand on traditional water supplies,” said SJRWMD Governing Board Secretary Chuck Drake. “This week is a great opportunity to celebrate the positive direction our state is headed and educate residents about how each person can make a difference when it comes to making smart choices about our water supply.”

Two recent water supply plans developed by the state’s water management districts report that by 2035 at least 350 million gallons a day of additional water demand within central and north Florida will have to be met through more water conservation efforts and alternative sources. Reclaimed water is an integral part of alternative water supplies because it helps meet increasing demands of non-potable uses like irrigation. (Studies indicate that 30% – 50% of all residential water use is for irrigation purposes.)

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. In the City of Melbourne, reclaimed water is used for lawn and landscape irrigation, filling decorative ponds and fountains, and construction site dust control.

During the month of May, city staff will be reaching out to residents who live within Melbourne’s reclaimed water service area to encourage them to consider connecting to the system. We are also making reclaimed water available in more areas. For example, reclaimed water infrastructure will be installed as part of the Hickory Street Complete Streets Project.

Though there are some initial fees to connect, residential customers can save an average of $30-$56 on their monthly water bills by switching their irrigation systems from potable water to reclaimed water. The connection fee for reclaimed water can also be less than the cost of putting in a new groundwater well, and no irrigation pump is needed. Reclaimed water has no odor and does not leave rust stains on driveways, sides of houses or sidewalks.

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