Recycled water gives San Diego a dependable, year-round and locally controlled water resource. To meet future water demands while reducing dependence on imported water, the City of San Diego built and operates the North City and South Bay water reclamation plants. These plants treat wastewater to a level that is approved for irrigation, manufacturing and other non-drinking or non-potable purposes. Careful monitoring by City staff, state health officials and water quality-control agencies ensures that recycled water produced by the City of San Diego meets all federal, state and local water quality standards.
Programs and Services
Rules and Regulations
The California State Water Resources Control Board 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 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 properly labeled with 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 of recycled water include the irrigation of:
- Residential landscaping
- Common areas
- Freeway landscaping
- 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. Recycled water is also available for construction purposes under the Recycled Water Tanker Truck Program (see below).
Recycled Water Tanker Truck Program
State of California health officials allow local recycled water tanker truck programs for construction purposes only. The City has one operational tanker truck filling station in South Bay which is currently used by SDG&E. The City is exploring options to add additional commercial filling stations in the northern service area.
Pure Water San Diego
Pure Water San Diego program will use proven water purification technology to clean recycled water to produce safe, high-quality drinking water.
Recycled Water Certification Training 2019
For questions or more information, call the Public Utilities Department at 619-533-5358 or send an email to the recycled water hotline.