Last week Gov. Gavin Newsom asked that people and businesses in the state voluntarily cut how much water they use by 15 percent. The current drought is rapidly emptying reservoirs relied on for agriculture, drinking water, and fish habitat. The governor reminded Californians that it could save enough to supply 1.7 million households for a year if Californians reduce their water usage.
One of the first places that people look to conserve water is their outside irrigation. The EPA reports that the average household uses 320 gallons of water per day, about 30 percent devoted to outdoor uses. More than half of that outdoor water is used for watering lawns and gardens.
Ironhouse Sanitary District has a way to help Oakley and Bethel Island residents conserve water by offering free recycled water to use in place of potable drinking water to irrigate gardens, trees, and lawns. Due to the recent heat waves and the severity of the drought in Contra Costa County, the District has extended operating hours at its Recycled Water Fill Station from two days a week to opening daily from 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
For those who haven’t taken advantage of using recycled water for irrigation, it doesn’t take much to get started. ISD’s recycled water is safe for nearly all outside watering needs, including vegetable gardens, fruit trees, and even washing cars.
Many people believe that a 300-gallon tank and a pickup truck are necessary to bring recycled water home. However, many different containers can be used. Some residents have gone as far as bringing gallon containers, covered five-gallon buckets, and even 30-gallon drums—all of which can be purchased at local hardware stores.
A pickup truck isn’t even necessary for bringing recycled water home. Many users drive their cars in and fill up their containers and load them in their trunks. ISD allows users to bring home anywhere from one gallon to 300 gallons a trip and make as many trips as they’d like during Fill Station open hours.
New sign-ups are available and require a short training session on how to use recycled water. Those interested can call 925-625-2279 or email [email protected] to make an appointment. Proof of current residential address is required.
While recycled water is available to Oakley and Bethel Island residents, those who live outside ISD’s service area are welcome to purchase a $20 punch card, allowing for 25 trips of up to 300 gallons of recycled water per trip.
Recycled water should never be used to drink or prepare food. It can be used to water your trees, gardens, lawns, wash cars, paths, and various other watering needs. All plants can be watered with recycled water. This includes edible plants such as fruit trees, vegetables, and herbs. All fruits, vegetables, and herbs, however, should be washed with potable water before eating.
It is also important that residents do not use recycled water for cooking or use it in the kitchen instead of bathing or showering, filling swimming pools or spas, or cleaning or filling up children’s water toys.
ISD’s Residential Recycled Water Fill Station is located at 450 Walnut Meadows Drive. Cross streets are Rose Avenue, Main Street, and Districts Way. For more information on container types, see the ISDs website at www.ironhousesanitarydistrict.com.
Released by Ironhouse Sanitary District