Reclaimed Water System At A Glance
Four reclaimed water facilities provide over 37 million gallons of reclaimed water per day to 10,284 active customers through 291 miles of reclaimed water pipe lines and 3,909 valves. There are 316 fire hydrants utilizing reclaimed water.
Reclaimed Water and Conservation
St. Petersburg's Water Reclamation System is not only the first to be built in the United States, it remains one of the largest in the world. The city's innovative system provides more than 37 million gallons per day to over 10,600 customers primarily for lawn irrigation. Reclaimed water is also an integral part of the city's overall water conservation effort. The initial reclaimed water distribution system, constructed in the late 1970s, was limited to serving golf courses, parks, schools, and large commercial areas. Extensive biological research through the late 1970s and early 1980s resulted in approval by Florida Department of Environmental Protection and the Environmental Protection Agency for expansion of the reclaimed water system into residential areas. In 1986, a $110 million system expansion was completed to include service to a limited number of residential and commercial sites. Continued expansion of the reclaimed water system has significantly contributed to reducing potable (drinking) water demands.
Reclaimed Water for Irrigation
Reclaimed water is the final product of a multiple-stage advanced treatment process which retains nitrogen and phosphorous elements that work as fertilizers to enhance ornamental plant and turfgrass growth. This treatment produces a water product ideal for lawn sprinkling, but not suitable for human or animal consumption. Elements found in reclaimed water include aluminum, chromium, lead, molybdenum, zinc, phosphorus, boron, copper, zinc, magnesium, nickel, calcium, iron, manganese, potassium and nitrogen. Sprinkling with reclaimed water is not much different from using well or tap water. To take advantage of the program you must already have or install a sprinkler system or you may receive a special reclaimed hose connection for portable sprinklers. Existing sprinkler systems can be connected with little or no modification. Due to its origin and composition, the use of reclaimed water is restricted by federal, state and local ordinances.
Reclaimed Water is a Resource - Use it Wisely
Sprinkling with reclaimed water is a smart alternative to using wells or potable water. Like other water sources, there is a limited amount of reclaimed water that is available to water customers for irrigation. Proper use by all customers will help ensure the safe and continued availability of this resource. In St. Petersburg, the typical residential lawn can require 30,000 gallons of irrigation water per month during the growing season. The average residential customer discharges 5,000 gallons per month to the sewer system. Therefore, it takes six wastewater customers to produce enough reclaimed water to supply one residence with irrigation water. As a result it is not possible at this time to supply all residences in St. Petersburg with reclaimed water.
Reclaimed Water Availability
The Water Resources Department's Reclaimed Office is currently able to consider in-fill requests for reclaimed water service. All other reclaimed service requests will be put on a waiting list for future consideration when the system is able to accommodate expansion. Reclaimed water is not available in all areas of the city. To determine if service is available in your area, or to obtain reclaimed water, call (727) 892-5111.
Reclaimed Water Is Not Permitted For:
- Consumption by humans or animals
- Connection to a dwelling for toilet flushing or other internal household use
- Interconnection with another water source
- Sprinkling of edible crops
- Human bodily contact or water recreation
- Non-reclaimed marked/labeled hose bibs, faucets, quick couplers, and hoses.
- Filling of swimming pools, decorative pools and ponds
- Development of a common reclaimed water service or connection between properties
- Washing equipment such as cars, boats, driveways, structures etc.
Reclaimed Water Cost
- More information on reclaimed water rates.
MAYOR MAY ORDER MANDATORY RESTRICTIONS
The city of St. Petersburg has been declared a water caution area by the Southwest Florida Water Management District. Water shortage restrictions have been placed on outdoor use of water to help to conserve this valuable resource. Reclaimed water, as an alternative water source to potable or well water, is not usually restricted in the same manner.
However, the mayor has the authority to restrict the use of reclaimed water when conditions warrant. Per Section 27-146 of the St. Petersburg City Code, the mayor may issue additional restrictions for the use of reclaimed water when necessary for the efficient operation of the reclaimed water system. Such restrictions may be warranted in particular during the dry season when the system may be unable to sustain adequate operating pressure or the demand for reclaimed water may exceed the available supply.
Under this ordinance, the mayor may limit, by executive order, the use of reclaimed water for outdoor irrigation. The restrictions limit the use of reclaimed water for lawn and landscape irrigation to three days per week and limits the time of day for irrigation to the hours of 5 a.m. to 9 a.m. and/or 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. Residents with even addresses may water with reclaimed water on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Residents with odd addresses may water with reclaimed water on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday.
If the mayor enacts such an order notifications will be sent to customers and the media will be notified. Current water restrictions are available by calling the Water Watch Hot Line at 892-5300.
If you would like to obtain information regarding the variance procedures for this ordinance please call 893-7261.
The failure to comply with the restrictions established by executive order is a violation of the City Code and may result in a fine. A warning notice will be given for the first violation. A second violation will result in the issuance of a citation carrying a fine of $175 plus court costs. Subsequent violations will be subject to fines and fees assessed by the court to a maximum fine of $500 plus court costs.
A copy of the city of St. Petersburg's Reclaimed Water Policies & Procedures is available in the reception area of the administrative office of the Water Resources Department located at 1650 Third Avenue North during regular business hours Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.
Use of reclaimed water has helped to alleviate the strain on potable and well water resources. We encourage all reclaimed customers to use our reclaimed resource efficiently and effectively.
For more information on reclaimed water service and use, call or write to:
Water Resources Department Reclaimed Water Division
1650 Third Avenue North
St. Petersburg, FL 33713
To obtain a copy of our Landscape Plant Guide for Yards with Reclaimed Water email WaterDept@stpete.org or call 892-5111 and leave your name and complete mailing address and request for theGuide.
For information on efficient irrigation contact the Pinellas County Extension Service
For information on water resources in our district contact the Southwest Florida Water Management District at 1-800-423-1476 or on the web at www.watermatters.org.