Design or redesign a landscape

Select an irrigation system

Sign indicating use of recycled water at irrigation site

What's needed for recycled water

A recycled-water irrigation system consists of many of the same components as a potable-water irrigation system. The primary difference is that components of a recycled-water system must be colored purple and labeled or tagged, so that they're easily distinguishable as components that convey recycled water.

The recycled-water system must have no cross connections with any potable-water system.

All piping, valves, controllers, sprinkler heads, pumps, storage tanks, and other parts must be approved for use in a pressurized recycled-water system. They must also conform to certain guidelines. For example, if the storage tank receives both recycled and potable water, the potable supply must be properly air-gapped to avoid cross contamination.

Other special considerations with a recycled-water system include the following:

  • No hose bibs are allowed. If there is a potable-water system within the landscape, then its hose bibs must be appropriately identifiable and protected against backflow.
  • Quick-coupling valves on a recycled-water system should physically and visually differ from those used on any potable-water system also serving the site.
  • Signs indicating that recycled water is being used for irrigation must be posted at all entrances to the site.
  • All outlets from the irrigation system must be clearly labeled "Caution — Recycled Water — Do Not Drink."
  • Parts manufactured for use with recycled-water systems and made of materials more resistant to scaling and corrosion are now available, such as valve diaphragms made of ethylene propylene diene monomer, a rubber that's more resistant to corrosion and chlorine than the standard Buna-N rubber.
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