Water Recycling in San Diego

For better or worse, San Diego County is investing heavily in water recycling plants.  We think that’s for the better because San Diego County imports some 95% of its water, and despite the recent El Nino rains Southern California faces a major long term water supply problem.

Government Efforts

There’s been a lot of news buzz about the big North City Water Reclamation Plant and South Bay Water Reclamation Plant for directly treating waste water for reuse.  The total cost is to be $3.5 billion, but a significant part of that will be offset by avoided costs in federally mandated sewage treatment upgrades.  By cutting the volume to be treated in half, those savings should be significant and highlight the importance of looking at the big picture.  And water re-use after limited treatment isn’t anything new.  Many Southern California counties have been pumping waste water into basins for natural treatment for many years, but the opportunities to do that in and around San Diego are quite limited.

Commercial Conservation

On-site water recycling for individual commercial and industrial buildings and campuses may be an even better idea.  Small-scale projects can come “on line” much quicker, and in the right situation can be very worthwhile.

Water reclamation or reuse can reduce hook-up costs and monthly sewage fees, and in many cases are required by local codes, ordinances, and regulations.  Many firms, especially high-tech companies, have “dual-plumbed” buildings so that recycled water can be used for flushing toilets and urinals.  But it’s more common to see reclaimed water used for landscaping irrigation and fountains, industrial processing, and commercial laundries.  The web page https://www.sandiego.gov/water/recycled  references regulations regarding the proper marking and color coding for such systems.  As an added benefit industrial manufacturing and R&D companies can trade extra conservation and recycling measures for “guaranteed” supplies during otherwise mandatory restrictions and so avoid costly disruptions and last-minute upgrades in their operations.

Residential Water Conservation

Although home-scale water reclamation systems are available, they’re neither cost-effective nor commonly used for the typical residence.  They’re used where fresh water supplies are severely limited, so we just might see a lot more of them in the future

Water Surveys

You can find out about water use surveys at https://www.sandiego.gov/water/conservation/surveyprogram.  They’re free to tenants as well as to property owners.  Homeowners may even receive water conservation aids such as low-flow shower heads at no cost, but for commercial concerns the surveys are normally limited to assessing opportunities for reducing landscaping water use.

ASAP Drain Guys & Plumbing

We’re proud to be a part of the solution to Southern California’s water problems.  We’re experts in installing and maintaining low-flush toilets and waterless urinals as well as plumbing for water recycling, reuse, and reclamation.  Our experts are well qualified to tackle industrial and plumbing systems as well provide superior residential plumbing services.