Durham offers free reclaimed water


Effective Tuesday, March 4, 2008, bulk amounts of reclaimed water will be available from the North Durham Water Reclamation Facility, located at 1900 E. Club Boulevard. Reclaimed water (RCW), which is wastewater that has undergone advanced tertiary treatment and meets state water quality standards, will be available at no charge to certified customers who attend a mandatory one-time training class and take a minimum of 250 gallons at a time directly from the facility.

According to Vicki Westbrook, deputy director of the City's Department of Water Management, this new service should lessen the impact of the drought for many businesses and organizations that use large amounts of water in their day-to-day operations. "Reclaimed water has a number of beneficial uses, such as irrigation of landscapes and turf, dust control, soil compaction, concrete production, cooling water, decorative ponds and fountains and street sweeping," Westbrook said. "Essentially, the use of reclaimed water will help reduce the amount of drinking water that is used for these purposes and allow many of our businesses that rely on this type of water usage to continue to operate."

According to Westbrook, customers must complete a mandatory one-time training class to become certified to obtain and use reclaimed water. "While reclaimed water has been disinfected and is clean and safe for many uses, the law requires certain precautions to minimize human contact. For instance, it may not be used for drinking, cooking, bathing, filling pools or watering edible plants," Westbrook said. "That's why training prior to allowing the use of reclaimed water is mandatory. We want to make sure that our RCW customers understand these safety precautions thoroughly."

Customers who are interested in obtaining bulk amounts of reclaimed water should visit the City's Web site at www.durhamnc.gov/departments/wm/reclaimed_water.cfm for training schedules and registration information. Additional information on reclaimed water, including additional uses, is also available from this Web site. Customers may also call (919) 560-4384 for training and registration information.

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