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Recycled Water Safety

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Over 1600 schools and playground sites irrigate with recycled water have been proven to be safe for children to play on.

A Proven Safety Record – California has been safely using treated recycled water since 1929. There has not been one confirmed case of anyone becoming ill from the proper use of recycled water for landscape or agricultural irrigation, or industrial use. Public health experts, pediatricians, specialists, leaders in the medical community, and virtually all of the credible scientific evidence available agree that irrigation is a safe use for recycled water.

The California Department of Health Services (DHS) and the California Regional Water Quality Control Board carefully regulate the treatment and use of recycled water. These agencies create and enforce some of the strictest water quality regulations in the world. They govern production, transmission and use, as well as the prevention of runoff and cross connections between drinking water and recycled water systems.

Recycled water is being safely and successfully used in this state to irrigate parks, playgrounds, school fields, wildlife habitat, recreation areas and landscaping. It is also used for toilet flushing, fire suppression and in industrial processing in some California cities. Farmers use recycled water to irrigate at least 20 varieties of food crops, including grapes, strawberries, lettuce and celery. Though recycled water usage in residential front and backyard irrigation is just starting to catch on in California, in states such as Arizona, Florida and Texas, it has been in use for many years.

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