Sewer district recycling program scaled back due to excessive demand

New members to program must live in Pleasanton, Dublin or San Ramon

A program to provide recycled water for residential use in the Tri-Valley is being scaled back in the wake of its "overwhelming popularity."

The Dublin San Ramon Services District has been offering free recycled water for residential landscaping during the drought, but now the district is only allowing residents from Pleasanton, San Ramon and Dublin to join the program, agency officials announced Thursday.

However, anyone who has already received an ID card to participate in the water recycling program can continue to get recycled water, regardless of where they live.

About 2,000 people have already signed up for the program, while the water agency expected only "a small number" of participants, spokeswoman Renee Olsen said.

Recycled water is treated wastewater that removes solids and other contaminants, but it is not safe for drinking.

While water is mainly used on lawns and landscaping, Olsen said it's also useful for washing patio furniture and cars. However, residents should make sure the recycled water doesn't flow into a storm drain.

To receive an ID card, residents must have a valid ID that shows they live in Pleasanton, San Ramon or Dublin, such as a driver's license. Residents must then sign a water use agreement, which can be found at, and bring the completed form to a water fill station to be trained and to get an ID card.

Fill stations are located at 7399 Johnson Drive in Pleasanton and Dublin Boulevard at Clark Ave. at the Dublin Safety Complex. Residents should enter the Dublin water fill station off Village Parkway.

The Pleasanton fill station is signing up new users Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 11 a.m. to noon and Tuesday, Saturday and Sunday from noon to 1 p.m. It is open for current users Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from noon to 7 p.m. and Tuesday, Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. to noon.

The Dublin fill station is accepting new users Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 8-9 a.m. and is open for current users on Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Residents should bring containers that can hold at least one gallon up to a limit of 300 gallons.

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2 people like this
Posted by Pleasantonian
a resident of Mission Park
on Jul 10, 2015 at 8:37 am

Pleasantonian is a registered user.

I see neighbors using recycled water and wonder if they took the class that was required. They are not wearing gloves, have on flip-flops as they walk through the water to adjust the sprinkler. Also, I'm not sure they know the part about not letting the water enter the storm drains.

5 people like this
Posted by Andy
a resident of Valley Trails
on Jul 10, 2015 at 9:03 am

@ Pleasantonian

You do not have to wear gloves to handle the water, it is safe to touch, just not to drink.

Like this comment
Posted by Pleasantonian
a resident of Mission Park
on Jul 10, 2015 at 10:11 am

Pleasantonian is a registered user.

When my husband took the class, they told him to wear gloves.

Like this comment
Posted by Robert
a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Jul 10, 2015 at 11:04 am

I took the class and they say nothing about using gloves just that you should wash your hands after contact with the water. Gloves are always a safe option but not required.

2 people like this
Posted by kbenson
a resident of Bordeaux Estates
on Jul 10, 2015 at 12:21 pm

Not enter storm drains? Not sure how that is even possible with a majority os use on lawns (just feet or less from curbs)

2 people like this
Posted by Citizen
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 10, 2015 at 12:38 pm

Try reading the instructions given out and the facility!

3 people like this
Posted by IsThisSmart?
a resident of Carriage Gardens
on Jul 10, 2015 at 12:55 pm

Recycled water is only filtered. No measures taken to safeguard against HIV, c-diff, Ebola, and other potential sewage constituents.

I completely agree that use of this water is politically correct.

However, please do not allow your children to play in areas where you have used this stuff.

Lastly, do some math. Those big containers that we see people hauling in the back of their pickups hold about 200 gallons, which works out to about 0.25 units (ccf) of water saved with each trip. If you make 3 trips a week you will save about 6.5 units of water during the bi-monthly billing cycle. As a point of reference, you are currently permitted up to 30 units, more if your 2013 usage exceeded 40 units.

8 people like this
Posted by SmarterThanYouKnow
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 10, 2015 at 1:17 pm

is it smart? You are talking about a 30 unit limit of drinking water, grey water is a better option for your superficial lawns. More importantly, because you can use 30 units without penalty does not mean you should. My house uses less than 10 units of water per cycle, should I just open the hose to make sure I take advantage of my full allotment???.... You may be part of the problem and and not part of the solution

Like this comment
Posted by Usage
a resident of Oak Tree Acres
on Jul 10, 2015 at 2:53 pm

My lot is a half acre and we have 8 peoe in our home. 30 units is not possible. Usual usage after reductions is about 62 units.

3 people like this
Posted by Bill
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Jul 10, 2015 at 3:54 pm

@IsThisSmart - you yell FIRE! in a movie theater also?
How stupid do you think the waste treatment plant would be to let people use water that is contaminated with infectious disease carrying organisms. The last thing that happens to the water before it is available to the pubic is it is passed through an extremely high intensity ultra violet sanitation machine. In fact the beam from this sanitation station is so powerful that it actually heats the water.
Europe has been using this method for decades to kill any organisms that might be on meat products before being sold to the public.
Here is a clip from the DSRSD website.... Recycled water has been used in agriculture since the 1880s and in California municipalities since 1912. There has never been a documented disease incident or other adverse public health effects in the United States related to the proper use of recycled water that meets regulatory standards. DSRSD’s recycled water is purified three times, disinfected, and then strictly monitored to ensure it meets water quality standards for all non-potable uses. Do not drink our recycled water or use it for bathing, cooking, pools, spas, water toys, or in any plumbing connected to the household domestic plumbing system, including buried irrigation systems. If you accidentally drink recycled water, there is no need to panic. Consult your doctor if you experience any adverse symptoms or feel unwell.

1 person likes this
a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Jul 10, 2015 at 11:03 pm

"Usage". You need to cut back. I have almost an acrea, and five young adults in our household. We used 13 this last billing cycle and 9 the period before. You MUST have a leak to use that much, or take 30 minute showers and have a lush green lawn.

2 people like this
Posted by user
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Jul 11, 2015 at 7:48 am

The water is filtered, then goes to a biological filtration stage that eats the bad bacteria. Then it goes through a sand filtrate remove more particulates. Then goes through ultra violet treatment to kill more bacteria. Then gets treated with chlorine then thats' what we use or gets pumped to the bay. It's actually safer than water in the delta at that point, but according to federal guidelines they are the ones directing the warnings. So I wouldn't be to freaked out. I water with my flip flops on all the time while drinking beer and no issues yet. Bottoms up!

2 people like this
Posted by Bill
a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Jul 13, 2015 at 12:08 am

I used to have an aerobic septic system that pretty much followed the same steps, minus the sand filtration. The chlorine content would probably be higher than one would want to consume, but it would be perfectly safe to get on yourself. We all used them to keep our lawns nice and green in the hot Texas sun.

Like this comment
Posted by Drought
a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Jul 13, 2015 at 9:06 pm

'Usage'. 2 units per cycle per person is possible, without sacrifice. But it won't support a thirsty lawn.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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