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 the reclaimed water service line and any drinking water system service lines. 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?

City Code requires new commercial developments or redevelopments within 250 feet of a reclaimed water main to connect for irrigation, cooling, and other significant non-potable water uses. See the system map for location of existing and proposed mains.

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.