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SOURCE - Winter 2016

Dublin San Ramon Services District Provides Recycled Water to Residents to Help Save Landscaping THE DUBLIN SAN RAMON SERVICES DISTRICT provides water and wastewater services to Dublin and portions of San Ramon, CA and wastewater treatment to the city of Pleasanton. In 2014, it opened a residential recycled water fill station at its Pleasanton wastewater treatment plant and a year later opened a second at the public safety complex in Dublin. Both fill stations were open to all area residents, regardless of whether they lived in the service area. The first year, fill station users hauled away 2.3 million gallons of recycled water in everything from one-gallon jugs and 300-gallon tanks strapped in the back of pickups. As the drought worsened, that figure jumped to 27.85 million gallons in 2015. As of November 2015, the record daily take was the two days after Labor Day, when 1,350 residents hauled away 283,000 gallons and 285,000 gallons of tertiary treated water. Fill station users must sign a Residential Recycled Water Use Agreement and be trained; everyone is issued an ID card and purple stickers, which must be applied to their water containers, clearly identifying that the containers are hauling recycled water, not drinking water. Minimum container size is one gallon; the maximum of 300 gallons is strictly enforced, but users can return as often as they want. Both stations were open every day except for a few holidays, days where there was measureable rainfall and the day after. As the weather turned cooler, the Dublin station was closed for the season, and operating hours for the Pleasanton station were reduced to three days a week. We asked Operations Manager Dan Gallagher to fill us in on how the project came together and what made it so successful. Origin: We wanted to help people keep their gardens alive, particularly their trees. We had piping around the wastewater treatment plant campus for water cannons and to clean tanks. We just picked a convenient place on the edge of a parking lot and holding basin and tapped in. Initially we had three hose bibs. Now we have 33. We treat about 9.5-10 million gallons a day (MGD) of wastewater at this facility. Our normal recycled water demand, 14 SOURCE winter 2016 The Dublin San Ramon Service District’s Residential Recycled Water Fill Station received the 2014 Technological Innovation and Achievement Award from the C a l i f o r n i a A s s o c i a t i o n o f Sanitation Agencies and the 2014 Water Recycling Outreach/ Education Program of the Year from WateReuse California. For information on other programs that have developed recycled water programs for residential users, see http://www.recycledh2o.net/ mostly from large irrigation customers served via in-ground purple pipes, is usually in the neighborhood of 5-6 MGD a day. So it made it easy to do this. Permitting: When the California Department of Public Health told us it couldn’t be done safely, we developed a set of the dos and don’ts to train fill station users. Public Health wanted to see what kind of instructions we were thinking about, and we built these into our User Agreement and sent it to them. They made a few changes and blessed it. This was before the Department of Public Health became the Division of Drinking Water. The San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board had some questions. We provided them with the data they wanted, they gave us approval to proceed and asked for a report after the first month. I suspect they wondered whether anybody would ever use the thing. Eventually the State Board (State Water Resources Control Board) jumped in to produce guidance documents, using our original User Agreement as a template. We began talking to the Department of Drinking Water in February 2014 and secured their approval in April 2014. We approached the regional board May 1, 2015 and had approval on June 3. We opened the fill station at Pleasanton on June 16. Continued on page 16


SOURCE - Winter 2016
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