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Rules and Regulations

Photo of Lawn Sprinklers

The State of California Department of Health Services sets the standards for levels of treatment and types of uses for recycled water. These standards are included in the California Code of Regulations, Title 22.

There are extensive rules and regulations (PDF) regarding the use of recycled water in the City of San Diego. These include making sure all pipes, sprinkler heads, meter boxes, and other irrigation equipment are properly marked or color-coded purple and proper signage to distinguish them from potable water supplies. The Public Utilities Department will work with customers to ensure they are in compliance with all regulations.

Approved uses include the irrigation of parks, playgrounds, school yards, residential landscaping, common areas, nurseries, freeway landscaping and golf courses. Additional approved uses for recycled water include recreational water bodies including fishing, boating and source water for industrial processing, commercial laundries and soil compaction.

With further advanced treatment, recycled water has been approved as an addition to existing water supplies in underground basins and open reservoirs. This process is called groundwater recharge or reservoir augmentation and is occurring in other parts of California and the United States, but is not occurring in San Diego at this time.

For more information about the Recycled Water Program, please e-mail us at water@sandiego.gov.