FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) -There’s a new ban on watering “nonfunctional” grass around commercial buildings.

The state water board says it’s necessary to prevent running out of water as the drought persists.

But there is an alternative, recycled water.

Both Fresno and Clovis are expanding “purple pipes” systems to deliver recycled water to more areas.

“We started using recycled water through our purple pipes system in 2009.  We have about 40 miles of recycled water pipe throughout the city,” City of Clovis Assistant Public Utilities Director Paul Armendariz said.

The water is used mainly for streetside landscaping.  It also waters a large lawn at Clovis Community Hospital.

“Even though this is a tertiary treatment plant which is the highest treatment there are certain uses that are different from drinking or potable water and so you will see purple signs in some areas of the city that delineates that it is recycled water and not drinking water,” Armendariz said.

Fresno Assistant Director of Public Utilities Bud Tickel says, “At this point, the build-out is in its infancy. We are looking to build our infrastructure.”

So far, recycled water is available in a few places, mainly near the water treatment plant.

A Purple Pipe main follows Cornelia to Shields. Another main extends east to Roeding Park and another will soon provide recycled water to Fulton and City Hall.

In Clovis, the Purple Pipe main runs along Temperance Avenue north to Shepherd Avenue.

Businesses near purple pipe mains may subscribe to recycled water, provided they make necessary investments.

“There’s a lot to be done as far as the connection but it is well worth it,” Tickel