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Recycled Water

Recycled water is a water supply for the future that we can rely on, especially in the face of uncertain impacts of climate change. Recycled water preserves our drinking water supply and benefits the San Francisco Bay by reducing discharges of treated wastewater.

Marin Water was the first water supplier in California to use recycled water for non-agricultural purposes in Northern California. Since the early 1980s, Marin Water have pioneered the use of recycled water for car washes, air-conditioning cooling towers, commercial laundries and toilet flushing in a condominium complex.

Marin Water currently provides recycled water year-round to 330 customers in Terra Linda area of San Rafael for a range of uses including irrigation, industrial cooling, and toilet flushing. A temporary recycled water filling station operated by the District is also available to Marin County residents (see below, for more information).

What is Recycled Water?

Recycled water is highly-treated wastewater that is safe for many purposes. Wastewater is treated at the Recycled Water Facility, a state of the art membrane treatment plant located at and operated by the Las Gallinas Valley Sanitary District. Marin Water has a longstanding partnership with LGVSD and helped fund an expansion of their Recycled Water Facility to increase recycled water use.

Once treated, recycled water travels through separate pipelines to end users. Recycled water is continuously monitored and tested to ensure that its quality is appropriate and safe for specific uses approved by regulation.

Opportunities for Expanding Recycled Water Use

The District is exploring potential opportunities to increase recycled water use for irrigation in areas where it could have the greatest impact on our water supply by replacing potable water use.  The District is conducting an alternative analysis for expanding the recycled water system to the Peacock Gap Area and prepare 30% design drawings.

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Recycled Water Filling Station for Marin County Residents

Marin Water offers a recycled water filling station at Armory Drive in San Rafael, where Marin County residents may visit to collect up to 300 gallons of recycled water to transport home to use for watering outdoor gardens and landscapes or for washing outdoor furniture or hard surfaces such as paths, walls, windows, driveways and sidewalks.
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What is recycled water?

Recycled water is highly-treated wastewater that is safe to use for irrigation and other outdoor uses. Recycled water is not intended for drinking or cooking. Recycled water must meet strict standards set by the California State Water Resources Control Board.

What can I use recycled water for?

You can use recycled water outdoors to water your trees, gardens, vegetables and lawn. You can also use recycled water to wash your outdoor furniture or other hard surfaces such as paths, walls, windows, driveways and sidewalks.

Can I water my plants with recycled water?

Yes, all plants can be watered with recycled water. This includes edible plants such as fruit trees, vegetables and herbs. Just remember to wash all fruits, vegetables and herbs with drinking water prior to consumption. Recycled water tends to have a higher salt content than drinking water, so we advise that you water the roots of the plants instead of the foliage to protect against leaf burn.

What can I NOT use recycled water for?

Recycled water CANNOT be used for: drinking, cooking (or use in the kitchen), bathing or showering, filling swimming pools or spas, children’s water toys, or hooking into household plumbing systems.

How much will recycled water cost me?

Nothing. It’s free to pick up!

How much recycled water can I pick up?

Marin County residents will be able to pick up a maximum of 300 gallons of recycled water per trip to the fill station. If you would like to pick up more than 300 gallons per trip, you will need to apply for a permit under Marin Water’s commercial truck hauling program.

How do I transport recycled water?

Recycled water must be picked up in sealable containers that hold at least 5 gallons per container. Recycled water cannot be picked up in coolers or ice chests, trash cans, or storage bins. If you are using a rain barrel, it must be sealable and cannot have a mesh opening.

Water is heavy! A gallon of water weighs just over 8 pounds. Please plan accordingly when determining how much water to pick up, and keep in mind the size of your vehicle when selecting your transport containers.

Please note that Marin Water is not liable for any injuries or damage to your vehicle due to your participation in the Recycled Water Filling Station program. We recommend tie-down straps to secure the containers for your safety.

Do water use restrictions apply to recycled water?

No. Water use restrictions do not apply to recycled water.

How can I receive recycled water if I am unable to pick it up at the fill station?

Residents and businesses can hire a permitted recycled water hauler to deliver recycled water. Customers may refer to our list of permitted haulers that are available for delivery of recycled water. Residents and businesses must contact Recycled@marinwater.org to receive training and fill out a User Agreement Form.