Purple pipes coming to Pleasanton

City agrees to start recycled water irrigation program

Four agencies that provide water services in the Tri-Valley signed agreements Wednesday enabling the city of Pleasanton to conduct the necessary environmental reviews to continue to develop a recycled water program.

The move coincided with the Pleasanton City Council's approval Tuesday night to proceed with a recycled water feasibility study that could see much of the city's parks and landscaped street medians irrigated using recycled water.

Already, purple sprinkler heads which indicate that water coming from them is recycled, not suitable for drinking, are visible along the newly extended Stoneridge Drive and at Stoneridge Creek Park near the Stoneridge Creek retirement community.

"There's a global water crisis not only in supply but also in quality," Pleasanton Operations Director Daniel Smith told the council Tuesday. "The goal is to reduce potable (drinking) water usage by 20% by 2020 and recycled water can help meet that objective."

If all goes well with the environmental reviews, recycled water will begin to flow into Pleasanton parks, sports grounds, and roadway medians, saving precious potable water. These agreements make the best use of a limited supply of potable water, keep a local resource local, and demonstrate how local governments can cooperate for the greater good of the region.

"With these agreements in place, the reliability of our potable water supply in the Tri-Valley will improve and we will be better able to meet the state's mandate to use 20% less potable water per person by 2020," said Dave Requa, district engineer of the Dublin San Ramon Services District, which treats sewer and run-off water from Pleasanton.

DSRSD and Pleasanton have now agreed to use as much of the treated wastewater effluent from Pleasanton as possible for recycling and to share recycled water distribution facilities when practical to minimize operating costs. More than half of the wastewater DSRSD treats at its Regional Wastewater Treatment Facility is from Pleasanton; the rest is from Dublin and southern San Ramon.

In a separate contract, the DSRSD and the East Bay MUD Recycled Water Authority also have agreed to provide wholesale recycled water treatment and delivery services to Pleasanton. Already, recycled water is used to irrigate roadway medians, parks, sports grounds and golf courses in Dublin, San Ramon, Danville, and Blackhawk.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Lee
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 7, 2013 at 9:39 am

It is good news that our town is on top of the water problems that are only going to get tougher as we have more people in this valley. I'm proud of our local and regional water agencies for dealing with this!

 +   Like this comment
Posted by Castlemaster
a resident of Castlewood
on Nov 7, 2013 at 10:46 am

I do hope they know what they are doing. The Castlewood area absolutely stinks during the evening watering cycles especially near the lower golf course. The recycled water used there is clearly unsanitary, smells like poop - and if you can smell it, you are ingesting it. I would NOT want any of the parks used by people around Ptown to suffer the same fate, cause if they do you will want to go somewhere else to walk or play. So let's do our homework and include careful monitoring of the waste levels that are blended to create the 'recycled' water.

 +   Like this comment
Posted by LaxDad3
a resident of Foothill High School
on Nov 7, 2013 at 3:26 pm

LaxDad3 is a registered user.

Castlemaster -- did you even read the article? Pleasanton, including Castlewood golf course, does not currently use recycled water. The odor you smell must be from something else.

 +   Like this comment
Posted by Bryan Moran
a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Nov 7, 2013 at 9:46 pm

YES. This is a win win win.

If you take water, and purify it to the point you can drink it, and then dump it on you lawn, you are wasting a ton of effort (that is money). If you take this super clean (and expensive) water, use it once to wash dishes, or take a shower, and then dump it into the sewer, you are throwing away resources (money). It is still water that (is expensive) is hard to obtain in the semi desert that we live in. Acres and acres and acres of vineyards and lawns being watered with chlorinated clean water is not necessary. Would you water vineyards with bottled water? This is exactly what we are doing in terms of cleanliness and quality. However, the most expensive water there is, is water you don't have; having to replace water you dumped down the sewer with more clean water. That is dumb to the second power. Take the "brown water" which is used for households, and lightly clean it, so it can be safely used for irrigation. Sewers, known as black water, go to the sewage treatment plant (poop) and get cleaned up. Purple pipes are how several major towns operate, including Irvine Ca and Phoenix AZ. Check out Web Link . I don't think, I know, this is super good news for our long term Livermore valley economy.

 +   Like this comment
Posted by Steve
a resident of Stoneridge
on Nov 11, 2013 at 10:39 am


There isn't a difference between "black water" or "brown water" in our sewage system. All of it will be used to produce reclaimed water. From what I understand, this water could be used for drinking water with very little additional processing (mainly chemicals), but we're too squeamish at this point. So, until we've been conditioned, er..., educated, to accept a closed cycle for our water, it will be used for irrigation.

So, yes, both "poop" water and dishwater will be cleaned up and used for irrigation.

 +   Like this comment
Posted by Bryan Moran
a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Nov 11, 2013 at 12:19 pm

Good, that is even better.

 +   Like this comment
Posted by Steve
a resident of Stoneridge
on Nov 11, 2013 at 12:35 pm

I have no problem with closed loop sewage treatment. My only requirement is that we don't lose sight of the fact that our families and pets will roll around in the grass that's watered with this water, and I might get sprayed with the water when the sprinklers are going. I'd rather it not be gray water, but much cleaner than that, so we will not ingest dangerous bacteria.

My brother-in-law had a septic system, and he would water his law with gray water. He said that no one should play on the lawn until the water dried. I would hope that the same wouldn't be true for this system, since we don't have as much control over watering schedules in our parks.

Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.


Post a comment

Posting an item on Town Square is simple and requires no registration. Just complete this form and hit "submit" and your topic will appear online. Please be respectful and truthful in your postings so Town Square will continue to be a thoughtful gathering place for sharing community information and opinion. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

We prefer that you use your real name, but you may use any "member" name you wish.

Name: *

Select your neighborhood or school community: *

Comment: *

Verification code: *
Enter the verification code exactly as shown, using capital and lowercase letters, in the multi-colored box.

*Required Fields

Steve Glazer for State Senate
By Roz Rogoff | 3 comments | 1,793 views

Pleasanton resident will have his hands full trying to keep the Oakland teams
By Tim Hunt | 1 comment | 987 views

The House of Representatives performs history’s first repeat hara-kiri
By Tom Cushing | 2 comments | 606 views