Palm Beach County is the leading supplier of reclaimed water in Southeast Florida. The Department reclaims approximately one-third of all the wastewater it cleans. The highly-treated wastewater effluent is treated, filtered and disinfected at the County's Southern Region Water Reclamation Facility on Hagen Ranch Road in suburban Boynton Beach. Reclaimed water must meet stringent state and federal standards, and it is safely used for irrigation throughout the country. In Florida there are more than 400 water recycling projects, making our state a national leader in the use of reclaimed water. The treatment process eliminates harmful substances, but leaves traces of nitrogen and phosphorous that act as fertilizers when reclaimed water is applied to lawns and landscapes.
Golf Course and Lawn Irrigation
Approximately 15 million gallons per day of reclaimed water is distributed by Palm Beach County Water Utilities Department to local golf courses and residential lawns for irrigation. The reclaimed water is delivered through a system of distribution pipes that is completely separate from the drinking water distribution system. These pipes are painted purple, which is the color code for reclaimed water.
Another one million gallons per day of water from the Southern Region Water Reclamation Facility is sent to the Wakodahatchee Wetlands, a constructed wetland located on Jog Road in suburban Delray Beach. The Department has also developed a second constructed wetland, Green Cay Wetlands, that is approximately 100 acres in size, giving the Department the capability to recycle another two to three million gallons per day of the highly-treated wastewater effluent. In addition to preserving our fresh water resources, the constructed wetlands create valuable wildlife habitat and offer the public much-needed green space for passive recreation activities like walking, bird watching, and nature photography.
Benefits of Palm Beach County's Reclaimed Water Program:
Irrigation with reclaimed water is a simple, low-cost, user-friendly way to help conserve our fresh drinking water supplies. Palm Beach County's Reclaimed Water Program is easy on your wallet, too. There is no connection charge for reclaimed water service, and only a minimal monthly commodity charge is billed to the customer, regardless of the amount of reclaimed water used. This is a bargain compared to the cost of using drinking water for landscape irrigation.
- Customers save money on their water bills because reclaimed water is less expensive than drinking water.
- Reclaimed water helps lawns and golf courses thrive because it leaves traces of nitrogen and phosphorous that act as fertilizers.
- The use of reclaimed water increases the amount of fresh drinking water available.
- Water recycling helps the environment.
- Reclaimed water is not subject to water restrictions for irrigation.
- Reclaimed water helps to recharge ground water aquifers.