Wastewater Utility

After severe drought hit California in 2014, wastewater utility Dublin San Ramon Services District (DSRSD), established that it would only receive 5% of its typical water allocation for that year. Therefore, outdoor irrigation was severely diminished in the districts area and civilians had no choice but to let their lawns dry out.

After a conversation with his wife about how the drought would leave them unable to water their lawn, DSRSD’s operations manager hatched a plan to create a new recycled water programme for California.

Dying GardensAs a result of the pioneer efforts that followed, a programme which helps create water fill stations across the state - the first of its kind - was created. These fill stations provide a resource for landowners to collect recycled water to use on their land and has since saved over 100 million gallons of drinking water.

The New Recycled Water Program in California

DSRSD worked with the regional Water Quality Control board on a brand new standard for residential water, training customers and establishing application agreements.

The first ever recycled water fill station opened in June 2014 and interest grew from both the news community and residents with dying landscapes.

Since then, demand has increased and a number of other fill stations opened in areas such as the Martirez and Livermore, becoming a lifeline for landscapes in need.

Customers were signing up by the hundreds and demand for information about which pumps to use, what to buy and how to unload them, once home, rapidly increased. To answer all these questions effectively, a website for recycled water haulers was created. This resource contains all of the useful information homeowners need to haul recycled water, especially if they don’t know where to begin.

Along with this, there is also a Google map which shows all 27 locations of fill stations in California, and counting. Over 10,000 residents have hauled more than 105 million gallons of recycled water, conserving drinking water supplies along the way.

Safe use of Recycled Water

Once treated, recycled water is extremely safe for use in landscapes and can be used to water a variety of vegetation, including shrubs, vegetable plants, flowers and trees. Wineries use it across their vineyards, construction sites use it to make concrete and farmers use it to grow food.

All fill station users are trained on the different uses of recycled water at home, with emphasis on not introducing it into their plumbing systems, not drinking it and not giving it to their pets.

As a result of this training, there has not been a single case recorded that anyone has become unwell after coming into contact with the recycled water.

Making Recycled Water Available in a Drought

The availability of recycled water during the California drought has proven to be a great outreach and educational opportunity for showing customers what a reliable and safe resource recycled water is.Watered Landscapes

The initial ‘yuck factor’ around recycled water has now been forgotten since the success of the fill stations in California, teaching the local community to embrace it and put it to good use. Lawns have flourished and landscapes are looking healthier and brighter each day.


Belmar Technologies design, build, install, commission and service complete industrial wastewater treatment systems for a wide range of sectors. For more information or to discuss our services further, please feel free to get in touch either by email to mail@belmartechnologies.co.uk or by calling +44 (0) 1327 586 008.