In an effort to help residents reduce the use of potable water, Ironhouse Sanitary District will be opening its Residential Recycled Water Fill Station (RWFS) two months earlier than usual. The opening date is April 2, with operational hours Monday through Sunday from 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
In a year when we are already seeing only minimal rain in the first two and a half months, State officials are worried that this will be the driest year in California’s history. In a recent press conference, Wade Crowfoot, secretary of the California Natural Resources Agency, asked that residents step up and start reducing water usage immediately and also take steps that will help conserve in the long run.
Most people don’t realize that when they turn on their sprinklers each day to water lawns, trees, and gardens, they are using an estimated 3,000 gallons of potable water per month. According to the Environmental Protection District (EPA), about 30 percent of the water used is used for outdoor uses.
Using Ironhouse Sanitary District’s recycled water can help conserve water and is free to Oakley and Bethel Island, who already use the District’s services. It doesn’t take much to get started for those who haven’t taken advantage of using recycled water for irrigation. Ironhouse’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 using gallon containers, covered five-gallon buckets, and even covered 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. Most cars can be used by loading covered water buckets in trunks and the back of SUVs. ISD allows users to bring home anywhere from one gallon to 300 gallons per trip to the RWFS 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 using 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 at no charge, those outside ISD’s service area is 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 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. However, all fruits, vegetables, and herbs should be washed with potable water before eating.
It is also important that residents do not use recycled water for cooking, 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.