Seeking Opportunities for Using Highly Treated Recycled Water
There are many qualities and types of recycled water: The most basic is to reclaim treated wastewater for use in the treatment process (see below). A higher level of treated wastewater can be used to irrigate landscapes. Finally, the highest level of treatment can make recycled water available for use as potable water. SMCSD is participating in discussions with the City of Sausalito and the National Park Service to look at options for developing recycled water for irrigation in our local area.
There are specific challenges that make it difficult to develop a practical and cost-effective recycled water supply from the District’s treatment plant.
- Local wastewater has high salt levels from infiltration of saltwater into home sewer laterals next to the Bay. Salt is costly and difficult to remove from wastewater.
- The treatment plant is located within a National Park on a very limited parcel on a steep hillside — Adding the additional recycling facilities would be difficult and costly.
Despite these and other challenges, our Board and staff continuing looking for recycled water opportunities. As potable water becomes more costly and limited during droughts, all the pieces may eventually come together to make a recycled water project feasible.
SMCSD Does Use Reclaimed Water from the Treatment Process
SMCSD has replaced all potable water use in the treatment plant with reclaimed treated wastewater for cleaning and all treatment processes. The District also uses reclaimed water to clean sewer collection system pipelines, requiring thousands of gallons of water. SMCSD continues to look for more ways to use reclaimed water in efforts to reduce potable water use.