Reclaimed water is less expensive to use or treat, and can be as little as one-third the price of drinking water. Users can see a reduction in water fees.

Is reclaimed water safe?

Though reclaimed water is not used in the drinking water supply, it meets over 90% of the criteria for drinking water. This water is clear with no noticeable odor, and is harmless to humans through normal contact. Austin's reclaimed water has passed all state and federal laws for non-potable use.

Reclaimed water customers are required to prevent backflows by installing a backflow prevention assembly on any drinking water system service lines and some reclaimed water service lines. Reclaimed service lines for water demands that use any chemigation or fertigation are required to install a backflow prevention assembly. Read more about our backflow prevention program. In the United States, reclaimed water is always distributed via purple-colored pipes to distinguish it from drinking water. Learn more about testing requirements for reclaimed water.

What is the reclaimed water treatment process?

Normally, wastewater produced by water users is collected in the sewer system, treated at wastewater plants, and released back to the original water source as standard treated effluent, which is now of better quality due to technological advancements and regulatory requirements. The water reclamation process treats standard effluent further for increased safety.

Does it save money?

Reclaimed water is less expensive to use or treat, and can be as little as one-third the price of drinking water. Users can see a reduction in water fees.

How do I apply for reclaimed water service?

Not all areas of Austin have access to reclaimed water (see System Map), and reclaimed water is not suitable for all customers. Call Austin Water at 512-972-0074 to determine if you have access to reclaimed water or if it is right for you.

If you have access to the system and are interested in using reclaimed water, consult with Austin Water and follow these instructions. This application form has instructions and general guidelines for water reclamation service.

Who is required to connect to the reclaimed water system?

 

Per City Code if your project is located within 250 feet of the City’s reclaimed water piping, City Code requires the property to connect to the reclaimed system and use the water for your project’s non-potable demands like toilet flushing, irrigation and cooling. The mandatory reclaimed connection distance increases to 500 feet for large development projects with 250,000 square feet or more of gross floor area.

To determine if this ordinance applies to your project refer to the reclaimed pipe network in Austin Water’s Records Access Application (RAA), an online GIS viewer available to organizations external to City of Austin, or email ReclaimedWater@austintexas.gov. If you do not already have access, you may request access to RAA here.

Do I have to post signs if reclaimed water is used?

Although signs are only required at reclaimed water faucets and storage tanks, Austin Water encourages customers to post signs indicating reclaimed water use . See sample signs that you can use.

What if I don't have access to reclaimed water service at my location?

To make reclaimed water available to customers with water hauling trucks, Austin Water has constructed reclaimed water bulk water facilities at several locations within the Austin area.

I’ve heard about LEEDs points for flushing toilets with reclaimed water.  What is this about?

Use of reclaimed water is a well known water conservation effort that is eligible for LEEDs points.  Some of the greenest buildings in Austin are now using reclaimed water to flush toilets and urinals.  As this is fairly new, there are plumbing design elements that should be considered to make sure these fixtures function properly with reclaimed water.