Municipal reclaimed water may be substituted for many applications that would otherwise deplete current and future drinking water resources. Its use is divided into two types that are defined according to whether people are likely to have contact with it during or after application. The City of Boerne provides Type 1 and Type 2 reclaimed water.
Type 1 Reclaimed Water
Type 1 Reclaimed Water can be used for irrigation including: landscape, parklands, schoolyards, athletic fields, golf courses, and residential properties; soil compaction or dust control in construction areas, and maintenance of off-channel water bodies.
Currently, Type 1 reclaimed water is only available in the Esperanza and Ranches at Creekside developments. Type 1 reclaimed water has been treated well beyond minimum standards and is delivered to these developments through a completely separate piping system from your drinking water.
Reclaimed water is safe to use for irrigation purposes. The City's systems are stringently regulated by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) under Chapter 210 of the Title 30 Texas Administration Code, and other rules. The reclaimed water is highly treated, filtered, disinfected, and meets strict water quality standards and monitoring procedures.
Physical contact with reclaimed water is not known to have any negative effects. Being splashed or sprayed with reclaimed water is not a cause for alarm. Reclaimed water does not present a threat to pets or other animals. However, due to the nature of its origin and to ensure compliance with state rules, reclaimed water should only be used for its intended purposes.
How Not to Use Reclaimed Water
The following are purposes for which reclaimed water should NOT be used:
- NOT for drinking, bathing, or other sanitary purposes (human or animal)
- NOT for filling swimming pools, hot tubs, etc.
- NOT for recreational activities such as water slides, water balloons, squirt guns, etc.
- NOT for direct contact irrigation of edible crops, unless the edible crop is to be cooked, peeled, or otherwise thermally processed before consumption. Edible crops that are irrigated with reclaimed water using a method whereby the crop does not come into direct contact with reclaimed water (i.e. drip irrigation, soaker hose, etc.) may be consumed without cooking or peeling.
Benefits of Reclaimed Water for Irrigation
Some of the benefits of using reclaimed water for irrigation include:
- Save on your monthly water bill by not paying potable water prices for irrigation water.
- Conserve precious drinking water supplies by reducing the amount of ground water pumped out of the aquifer for irrigation.
- Reduce the costs associated with obtaining new sources of drinking water due to lessening demands on the drinking water supply for irrigation.
Type 2 Reclaimed Water
Type 2 reclaimed water can be used for irrigation of golf courses and restricted pastureland (where the public is not present during the time when irrigation activities occur) as well as, soil compaction or dust control in construction areas where application procedures minimize drift to public areas. Type 2 reclaimed water in Boerne is primarily used for construction purposes, and with a permit, is available at our fill station located at 334 Esser Road.
For more information about the City of Boerne’s Reclaimed Water Reuse Program, contact the City of Boerne Utilities Department at (830) 248-1538.