Proper and Safe Use of Reclaimed Water

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The City of Melbourne produces high-quality reclaimed water that is safe for its intended outdoor uses. Reclaimed water is distributed to homes and businesses through an underground distribution system that is entirely separate from the drinking water system. The City implements safeguards to reduce the likelihood of a cross-connection between the two systems.

Color-coding underground pipes, conducting property inspections, and utilizing backflow prevention devices where necessary are safety measures designed to protect our water systems and the public’s health.

Cross-connections between drinking water systems and reclaimed water systems are strictly prohibited.

A cross-connection is any temporary, permanent, or potential connection between a drinking water source and a non-potable water source or a water source of an unknown quality. Examples of cross-connections include submerging a garden hose that is connected to the drinking water supply into a bucket of soapy water or a pool or making a physical connection between a drinking water piping system and an irrigation piping system. Uncontrolled cross-connections allow pollutants or contaminants to enter the drinking water system when backflow conditions occur. For more information, please see this list of frequently asked questions about backflow.

How do we protect against backflow?

The basic means for preventing backflow is a mechanical backflow prevention device or assembly. These assemblies provide a physical barrier to backflow. They are typically installed on drinking water service lines just after the service meter. Backflow prevention assemblies must be tested, repaired and/or replaced periodically to remain effective against backflow.

Hose Bibs on Reclaimed Water Systems