For the past few years, the City of Clovis has been making efforts to conserve the water supply.
Waste water that's been treated and disinfected is then recycled to irrigate some public landscapes.
By using recycled water, the city is saving about 200,000 gallons of water a day, according to Lisa Koehn, assistant director of public utilities at the City of Clovis.
The water is used to irrigate some parks, including the Pasa Tiempo Park, and some landscapes along Clovis roads.
"We hook it up to our park irrigation system--just the sprinklers, not the restrooms or anything like that. And we irrigate with it just like it's normal water," says Eric Aller, parks manager at the City of Clovis.
The water comes from the sewer system. But before it's used, it's treated and disinfected at the Clovis Water Reuse Facility.
"It's not an easy thing to do. You have to treat it at this high level in order to do that. Most treatment plants aren't set up that way yet," Koehn says.
The process is also very expensive. Koehn estimates that the City of Clovis has spent about $600 million over the past few years to build the Water Reuse Facility and install infrastructure for several projects.
Using recycled water is an alternative to using ground or surface water.
In a year when water resources are strained, "you're not reliant just on ground water, just on surface water, but now you have this reliable supply that's there 24/7 every day of the year," Koehn says.
It's an energy intensive and costly process, but the future of recycled water sounds promising.
Although it can't be used for drinking, the water can be used for crops and on landscapes, Koehn says.
"It's very important for water conservation because it's water that's not coming out of the ground for water. It's already water that's been used," Aller says.
The City of Clovis has plans to install more infrastructure to irrigate other public landscapes with recycled water.
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