Residential Reclaimed Water Program
Jump to: Construction - Cost - Safety - Usage - Benefits
GENERAL OVERVIEW QUESTIONS
What will the project do?
The project will provide reclaimed water (highly treated wastewater), instead of potable (drinking) water for irrigating lawns in neighborhoods with high water use in the County’s Northwest Service Area (generally west of I-4 and north of Lake Mary Blvd.)
Where will the reclaimed water come from?
It will be piped from a variety of sources including the Yankee Lake Regional Water Reclamation Facility, Greenwood Lakes Wastewater Treatment Facility and the Yankee Lake Surface Water Treatment Facility to augment reclaimed water supply.
What neighborhoods will be served?
- Phase 1 of the Residential Reclaimed Retrofit Program constructed reclaimed water pipes to residents of Bristol Park, Chestnut Hill, East Camden, Heathrow Woods, and Magnolia Plantation. Phase 1 was placed into service in February 2008, and as of July 2011 over 87% of the planned 820 connections are active.
- Phase 2 of the Residential Reclaimed Retrofit Program constructed reclaimed water pipes to residents of Alaqua Lakes. Phase 2 was placed into service in September 2010, and as of July 2011 over 93% of the planned 535 connections are active.
- Phase 3 of the Residential Reclaimed Retrofit Program will construct reclaimed water pipes to residents of Breckenridge Heights, Lakeside, Stonebridge, Waters Edge, Wembley Park, Carisbrook and Wyntree. Phase 3 is currently at 100% Design, and is planned for construction in 2013.
- Phase 4 of the Residential Reclaimed Retrofit Program will construct reclaimed water pipes to residents of Alaqua. Phase 4 is currently at 100% Design, but is not planned for construction until beyond 2017, due to budgetary constraints.
- Phase 5 of the Residential Reclaimed Retrofit Program will construct reclaimed water pipes to residents of Brookhaven Manor, Brookhaven Ridge, Burlington Oaks, Cherry Ridge, Heron Ridge, Kentford Gardens and The Reserve. Phase 5 is currently at 100% Design, but is not planned for construction until beyond 2017, due to budgetary constraints.
Why is this project necessary?
Seminole County is a Priority Water Resource Caution Area. Some data suggests that there may be future water supply sustainability issues if action is not taken. The County is currently working towards reducing potable (drinking) water consumption in the Northwest Service Area.
Why have these neighborhoods been chosen?
Residential neighborhoods in the Northwest Service Area have been chosen due to their very high levels of irrigation and data that suggests groundwater withdrawals from this area have a more significant impact on surface water levels, allowing the County to effectively implement its water conservation strategy of minimizing the use of potable water for non-potable uses. Approximately 75 percent of total water use in the targeted neighborhoods is for landscape irrigation.
How much water will be saved?
It is estimated that the targeted neighborhoods in Phases 1 and 2 are saving as much as 1,000,000 gallons of potable water per day. That’s enough water to fill 67 swimming pools every day.
What will be involved in the construction of the Residential Reclaimed Retrofit Program?
Each Residential Reclaimed Retrofit Program consists of three main components: transmission mains, distribution lines and meters. Reclaimed water transmission mains are large underground pipes that bring reclaimed water from the County's water reclamation facilities to the vicinity of the neighborhoods selected to receive reclaimed water service. Distribution lines bring the reclaimed water from the transmission mains to the property boundary of the individual homes. A reclaimed water meter that measures the amount of reclaimed water used will be installed at each property. Other project components will include piping, storage and augmentation facilities; however these will not be located near any neighborhoods.
Will the construction be disruptive?
Whenever possible, pipelines will be installed using directional drilling instead of using an open cut (trench digging) method. This will minimize damage to sidewalks, driveways and roads. Any areas damaged during construction, whether in public areas or on private property, will be restored to their preexisting condition.
When will the project be completed?
The Phase 1 project schedule is:
The Phase 2 project schedule is:
The Phase 3 project schedule is:
The Phase 4 project schedule is:
Bidding: TBD (Beyond 2017)
Construction: TBD (Beyond 2017)
The Phase 5 project schedule is:
Bidding: TBD (Beyond 2017)
Construction: TBD (Beyond 2017)
How will I be billed for the reclaimed water that I use?
The reclaimed water will be metered and you will be billed for the amount that you use as a separate line item on your utility bill.
What is the rate for reclaimed water?
The Board of County Commissioners have established reclaimed water rates.
Will there be a cost to connect to the system?
Yes. After the County installs the reclaimed water meter at each property, it will be the homeowner’s responsibility to have his/her in-ground irrigation system completely disconnected from the potable (drinking) water meter and then connected to the reclaimed water meter.
Is the reclaimed water safe?
Because the reclaimed water from the Yankee Lake Regional Water Reclamation Facility is permitted to be discharged into wetlands, it is treated to a higher standard and monitored more stringently than is normally required. This means that the reclaimed water going on your lawn is of a very high quality. It is the final product of a multiple-stage, advanced wastewater treatment program. It is continually treated, monitored and tested to ensure that it meets the requirements of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.
How can I be sure that the reclaimed water will not get mixed up with the potable water?
The reclaimed water will be delivered through an underground distribution system entirely separate from the drinking water system. It will not be connected in any way to the potable (drinking water) system. All reclaimed water pipe and fixtures, as well as the reclaimed meter box at your property, will use the standard lavender (light purple) color that designates reclaimed water, distinguishing it from the potable water system. In addition, a sign will be placed at neighborhood entrances indicating that reclaimed water is in use.
As an added safety precaution, a backflow prevention device is required to be installed on your drinking water meter to prevent the reclaimed water from getting into the public drinking water system in the unlikely event that someone inadvertently connects a pipe between the two systems on your property. The County conducts safety inspections to ensure that there are no cross connections with the potable water system on your property. In addition, an annual test of backflow prevention devices will be required and parts replaced as needed.
QUESTIONS ABOUT USING RECLAIMED WATER
What can the reclaimed water be used for?
It is safe to use reclaimed water for irrigating lawns and landscape, as well as fruit trees and gardens containing edible foods that will be peeled or cooked before serving.
What shouldn’t the reclaimed water be used for?
The state has currently prohibited the use of reclaimed water for the following purposes:
- Filling swimming pools, wading pools or hot tubs
- Connecting to a dwelling for toilet flushing or other household use
- Interconnecting with your drinking water pipeline
- Recreational activities in which the water comes in contact with your skin, such as playing in the sprinklers
- Washing pets, equipment, structures, driveways or vehicles
- Connection to an aboveground hose bibb
Will there be any restrictions on how much or when the reclaimed water can be used?
It’s important to remember that over-watering can be harmful to lawns and plants. Research at the University of Florida recommends a maximum irrigation rate for St. Augustine sod of two times per week, a half inch each time. As always, you should only water between 4 p.m. - 10 a.m. to avoid losing water to evaporation. The County encourages conservation of reclaimed water as a valuable resource.
Wed. & Sat. – Odd House #
Thurs. & Sun. – Even House #
Tues. & Fri. – Non-Residential
NO WATERING BETWEEN 10:00 A.M. – 4:00 P.M. ANYDAY
What else is being done to ensure that there is always enough reclaimed water for the service area?
Storage will be provided so that reclaimed water produced during the day (during the non-watering hours) can be stored for use in the evening and morning hours. Also, the County may use water from sources other than the Yankee Lake Regional Water Reclamation Facility to help supplement the reclaimed water supply during periods of very high usage. The County has an inter-local agreement to utilize up to 2.75 million gallons per day of reclaimed water supply from the City of Sanford; this source is augmented with treated surface water from Lake Monroe. In addition, the Residential Reclaimed Water Project is connected with the County’s Northeast reclaimed water system, which has been serving commercial properties since the late 1980's. Other sources of water, such as groundwater from the Floridan aquifer, are being considered to meet seasonal peaks in the demand for irrigation water on a very short-term basis.
Will the reclaimed water leave stains?
No. Reclaimed water is unlike water from most shallow wells. It is colorless and free from the minerals that can cause staining of houses, driveways and sidewalks.
QUESTIONS ABOUT BENEFITS
What are the financial benefits of the project?
All citizens of Seminole County will realize an indirect financial benefit from the project because it will help postpone the need to develop more costly water sources. The St. Johns River Water Management District has stated that there might not be a sufficient supply of groundwater to meet the long-term growth needs of the region. More costly water sources, such as river water, may eventually be needed in the future. By using reclaimed water now, the County can extend the use of groundwater for a longer period of time and be less dependent on more expensive water supply sources in the future.
What are the environment benefits of the Residential Reclaimed Retrofit Program?
1) Over 1,000,000 gallons of potable water per day are being saved through Phases 1 and 2. That’s enough water to fill 67 swimming pools every day. An additional 1,300,000 gallons of potable water per day are projected to be saved once Phases 3, 4 and 5 are operational.
2) It will protect the Floridan Aquifer. Most of our drinking water is pumped from the Floridan Aquifer, the fresh water found deep underground in the openings within a thick layer of limestone. Pumping too much water from the Floridan Aquifer can have negative impacts. It can cause lake levels to drop, spring flows to slow or stop and wetlands to recede as well as increase the likelihood of sinkholes. It can also contribute to saltwater intrusion and decreased water quality requiring more extensive water treatment.
3) It provides an environmentally friendly way to discharge reclaimed water. The Yankee Lake Regional Water Reclamation Facility produces 2.2 million gallons per day (MGD) of highly treated reclaimed water. As population growth continues, finding environmentally friendly ways to use this resource becomes an increasing challenge. Phases 1 and 2 of the Residential Reclaimed Project provide an environmentally friendly and beneficial way to use approximately 1,000,000 gallons a day.