Recycled water

Recycled water in the community

As our community faces continued cycles of drought, recycled water helps create a water supply for the future that we can rely on. 

Using recycled water for landscape irrigation eases the demand for potable water

Using recycled water for landscape irrigation eases the demand for potable water

EBMUD currently recycles water for irrigation, industrial cooling, and toilet flushing. Recycled water protects our limited drinking water supply and benefits the San Francisco Bay by reducing discharges of treated wastewater.

EBMUD has built infrastructure with the capability to provide over 9 million gallons per day (mgd) of recycled water. Our 2040 goal is to recycle 20 mgd of water, or nearly 7.3 billion gallons annually. That amount could save enough water to supply the indoor and outdoor water needs of more than 220,000 EBMUD residents per day.

Our water is too precious to use just once.

For more information on EBMUD's recycled water projects, please contact  

Recycled water basics

Purple pipes carry recycled water separately in streets

Purple pipes carry recycled water separately in streets

Recycled water is highly-treated wastewater that is safe for many appropriate purposes. It is not added to EBMUD's drinking water supply, and it travels through separate set of pipes.

Recycled water is continuously monitored and tested to ensure that its quality is appropriate and safe for specific permitted uses. Since EBMUD customers began using recycled water in 1990, there have been no documented negative health effects related to its use.

Planning for recycled water

EBMUD looks to partners in the community to help us meet our ambitious 2040 recycled water goal. However, not every project and development can be served by recycled water. Please contact EBMUD to discuss before requiring the use of recycled water in your planning document or project specifications.

If your development will use recycled water, please review the Recycled Water Service Application. The application outlines special requirements for the drawings that you will submit.

Look for purple

Regulations require that recycled water facilities be completely separate from drinking water systems. Guidelines set by the California Water Resources Control Board require recycled water facilities to be clearly distinguishable from potable water facilities to avoid mixing the two supplies. Pipes and other hardware for recycled water systems are colored purple and labeled with words "Recycled Water - Do Not Drink."


Graywater is not recycled water from a centralized treatment facility but involves reusing certain waste water at residences that have been equipped with an approved graywater system. EBMUD offers incentives for graywater systems.

Recycled water resources

California Water Resources Control Board - Recycled Water Info
WateReuse Association
Water Research Foundation