Reclaimed water plays an important role in the stewardship of Florida's water resources. Irrigation with reclaimed water reduces the need to dispose of sewage effluent in surface waters, such as the Indian River Lagoon, and ground waters.
Reclaimed water is wastewater effluent that has been highly treated and filtered resulting in a high quality water suitable for lawn irrigation and many other purposes, such as, air conditioner cooling towers, fire fighting and decorative fountains, to
name just a few. Even though reclaimed water has been treated, disinfected and is safe for incidental human contact, it is not "drinking water" and has not been approved for human consumption or contact. The use of reclaimed water to fill swimming
pools, hot tubs, spas, wading pools is therefore prohibited.
Reclaimed water cannot be distributed for public use unless it meets strict treatment requirements which entail continuous monitoring, sampling and analysis. For this reason the supply of reclaimed water may be interrupted for short periods, without warning,
if the quality of the water drops below these standards. Additional information on conserving water.
The use of reclaimed water is regulated through Chapter 62-610, of the Florida Administrative Code and Chapter 110 of the Brevard County Code. The following rules were derived from those regulations.
- There shall be no physical connection between the reclaimed water system and any other water supply. An isolation valve does not constitute a separation.
- Reclaimed water shall not be used on property that uses an on site well for a potable water supply or used for irrigation within 100 feet of any potable water supply well.
- To meet this requirement, applicants for reclaimed water service shall warrant the absence of potable water wells on the property proposed for service, as well as on all adjacent property, within 100 feet of the property boundary.
- A back flow prevention device, approved by the Brevard County Utility Services Department and the public water supplier, shall be installed on all potable water service lines serving properties receiving reclaimed water.
- Reclaimed water, used for irrigation, may only be connected to “in the ground” sprinkler systems or “above ground systems” using a non-standard hose bib which can only be operated with a special tool. Any such non-standard
hose bi bb and special tool shall be supplied by, or approved by the Brevard County Utility Services. The maintenance and repair of the hose bibs provided by Brevard County Utility Services shall be the owner's responsibility.
- Reclaimed water irrigation systems shall be designed, constructed and operated so as to minimize over spray onto impervious surfaces.
- Reclaimed water used within 100 feet of any public eating, drinking or bathing facilities shall incorporate low trajectory spray heads or other means to reduce aerosol drift.
- Reclaimed water shall not be used to fill swimming pools, hot tubs, spas or wading pools.
- Reclaimed water shall not be used inside any residential dwelling.
- Reclaimed water shall not be used for any purpose other than irrigation unless specifically authorized by the Director of the Utility Services Department.
- Reclaimed water shall not be used on edible crops, that will not be peeled or skinned, prior to consumption.
- The use of reclaimed water for commercial market crops shall require the specific authorization by the Director of the Utility Services Department.
- Although of suitable quality, Brevard County's reclaimed water system is not specifically designed to provide the level of reliability necessary for fire protection. The use of reclaimed water for this purpose shall require the specific authorization
by the Director of the Utility Services Department.
- All uses of reclaimed water require a reclaimed water permit or a binding contractual agreement. Reclaimed water permits are used for all residential and commercial sites. Contracts are generally used for golf courses and commercial agriculture sites.
- The users of reclaimed water shall operate and maintain their privately owned irrigation systems and other reclaimed water piping systems in accordance with the Brevard County Code Section 110-301 through Section 110-360. Failure to comply could result
in the discontinuation of reclaimed water service, a fine or other penalties.
- Reclaimed water is a commodity offered for sale by the Brevard County Utility Services Department. Charges for reclaimed water service are normally collected as part of the water/sewer bill. Reclaimed water rates are set by the Board of Brevard
County Commissioners. An initial service installation fee of $125.00 is collected to provide reclaimed water service to each customer. The monthly charge for a single family detached residence is a flat rate of $6.00. For all other permitted
users (multi-family/commercial) the monthly charges will be determined at a rate of $10.00 per acre of wetted or green space to be irrigated, with a minimum charge of $10.00. The use of reclaimed water is not subject to water restrictions
however following the St. John River Management Districts water restrictions is desirable. Following those recommendations should help to prevent excessive irrigation, and ensure a sufficient supply for all reclaimed water customers.