Reclaimed Water Frequently Asked Questions
- What is reclaimed water?
- How do I apply for reclaimed water service?
- What are the benefits of using reclaimed water?
- How is reclaimed water processed?
- What is the quality of reclaimed water?
- Is reclaimed water safe?
- Where can reclaimed water be used?
- What types of plants thrive on reclaimed water?
- What do I need to know about connecting to reclaimed water?
- Are there restrictions on reclaimed water use?
- What areas are currently receiving reclaimed water?
- Do you have a sample form to request reclaimed water?
1. What is reclaimed water?
Pinellas County’s reclaimed water is highly treated wastewater produced through an advanced wastewater treatment process. This process eliminates any harmful byproducts while retaining beneficial elements, such as nitrogen, for irrigating landscapes.
- Creates an alternate water source for irrigation by reducing demand on potable water sources utilized for drinking water.
- Reduces the cost of landscape irrigation when it replaces potable water.
- Beautifies our community by enhancing the appearance of landscaping.
4. How is reclaimed water processed?
The wastewater treatment and disinfection process requires four steps:
- Step 1 eliminates large solid materials.
- Step 2 uses microorganisms to break down smaller solids.
- Step 3 eliminates undesirable compounds and fine suspended particles.
- Step 4 uses chlorine to eliminate disease causing organisms.
5. What is the quality of reclaimed water?
View the current Reclaimed Water Consumer Confidence Report.
6. Is reclaimed water safe?
Yes. To ensure safety, the highest standards established by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection are followed. System controls utilized by Pinellas County Utilities are among the most stringent in the nation. Locally, Pinellas County Utilities, St. Petersburg, Largo, St. Pete Beach, South Pasadena, Pinellas Park, Clearwater, Dunedin, and Tarpon Springs safely operate reclaimed water systems. There is no documentation of any public health problems associated with reuse of properly treated and disinfected reclaimed water. As a precaution, it is recommended that immuno-compromised persons irrigate only when they will not be outside.
7. Where can reclaimed water be used?
The level of treatment received by reclaimed water makes it acceptable for the following uses:
- Irrigating lawns and most landscaping.
- Washing of cars, boats, or heavy equipment. It is recommended that after the use of reclaimed water, vehicles are rinsed with potable water and towel dried to prevent spotting.
- Washing of roofs and buildings as long as the runoff doesn't flow into surface water such as a pond or stream.
- Use in fountains and decorative pools (they must be clearly marked as containing reclaimed water).
The degree of treatment required for the use of reclaimed water makes it unsuitable for the following purposes:
- Consumption by humans.
- Bathing, cooking or toilet flushing in residential dwellings.
- Any interconnection with another water source.
- Recreational use involving body contact (i.e. swimming pools or outdoor showers).
- Irrigation of vegetables or other edible crops which are not peeled, cooked, or thermally processed before being consumed.
- Run off into or filling of swimming pools.
In general, any plant native to this area will grow well when irrigated with reclaimed water. See examples
9. What do I need to know about connecting to reclaimed water?
- The program is voluntary, and you can utilize your existing in-ground irrigation system.
- All properties in a designated "readiness to serve zone" are charged an availability fee.
- If you have a well, you must disconnect it from the irrigation system in order to take advantage of the program.
- Irrigation systems connected to a drinking water line must be disconnected.
- No cross connection can exist prior to the tie-in to the reclaimed water system.
- A cross connection inspection conducted by a Pinellas County Reclaimed Water Inspector is required at the time the actual tie-in to the reclaimed service is made.
An automatic rain shutoff device is required by the state. A wye strainer is required at the time of inspection (North Pinellas County only). The wye strainer should be cleaned monthly to maintain adequate pressure and maximize sprinkler system efficiency.
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10. Are there restrictions on reclaimed water use?
The reclaimed water shortages experienced in recent years during the non-rainy season have placed considerable stress on the reclaimed distribution system. Due to operational experience during these dry periods of the year, an ordinance has been passed to limit lawn watering at these times to three days per week. This limitation will not only alleviate seasonal operational shortages but will actually help build a healthier lawn. See links below for more information:
11. What areas are currently receiving reclaimed water?
NORTH COUNTY areas currently receiving reclaimed water:
All properties within the boundaries of Bee Pond Rd. to the north, CR39 to the south, Intercoastal to the west, and US Hwy. 19 to the east have reclaimed water with the exception of Fox Chase and Fox Lake
SOUTH COUNTY areas currently receiving reclaimed water:
- Belleair golf courses (West, East and Belleview Biltmore)
- Seminole Lakes Golf & County Club
- Seminole City Hall Park
Subdivisions on the mainland:
- 72nd Ave North (Park Blvd. south to 70 Ave. N. and 71st St. N. west to 77th St. N.)
- Bonnie Bay
- Bonnie Glynn
- Club Chalet
- Five Towns
- Oakhurst Road (Walsingham Rd. south to 66th Ave. N. and 113th St. west to Boca Ciega Bay)
- Paradise Shores Apts.
- Park Place Condos
- Parkside Villas
- Pinellas Village
- Seminole Lakes
- Sundown Woods
- Tamarac by the Gulf
- Townhomes of Park Place
- Westchester Estates
- Belleair Beach
- Belleair Shore
- Indian Rocks Beach
- Indian Shores
- Madeira Beach
- North Redington Beach
- Redington Beach
- Redington Shores
- Sand Key
- Tierra Verde
- Treasure Island
12. Do you have a sample form to request reclaimed water?