Reclaimed Water - Most Requested Information

What is reclaimed water?
Recycled water is an important water resource today and for the future. Tucson Water uses some of its recycled water to produce reclaimed water, which is specially treated for applications such as irrigation, dust control, fire fighting, and industrial uses. Reclaimed water is excellent for the irrigation of turf, ornamental landscaping, food crops, orchards and vineyards. The nitrogen and phosphorus in the water provide fertilizer for plants and grass. Reclaimed water is not treated to be used for drinking or bathing.
What if my children or I come into contact with reclaimed water?
Reclaimed water is not treated to be used for drinking or bathing. If you come into contact with reclaimed water, wash with soap and water from a drinking water faucet.
Can my dog drink reclaimed water?
Although we know that dogs sometimes drink out of puddles and other unsanitary places without apparent ill effects, Tucson Water recommends providing all household pets with drinking water from your drinking water faucets.
What if my children or I have consumed reclaimed water?
If you or your child have consumed reclaimed water, it is unlikely to cause ill effects. However, if you or your child should get sick after consuming this water, contact your medical provider and tell her/him that reclaimed water was ingested. She/he will be able to determine if the illness is related to the water.
Can reclaimed water be used to water fruit trees and vegetable gardens?
Reclaimed water can be used for the irrigation of food crops. Be sure to wash all produce prior to eating or cooking.
What precautions should I take when working in gardens irrigated with reclaimed water?
See Tucson Water document "Working in Gardens Irrigated with Reclaimed Water." pdf
Why don’t all of the local golf courses use reclaimed water?
There are 39 golf courses in eastern Pima County. Tucson Water delivers reclaimed water to 18 of these courses and Oro Valley delivers reclaimed water to 5 golf courses in their service area. Although the governments of the City of Tucson and Pima County have policies and ordinances requiring new golf courses to irrigate with reclaimed water or other renewable supplies, there are several reasons why not all existing courses have converted to reclaimed water: 1) there is no reclaimed water service near the golf course and it is not cost-effective for either the City or the golf course to extend the reclaimed water system, or 2) existing courses, not served by a municipal or private water provider, are pumping groundwater under rights granted to them by the Arizona Department of Water Resources. The City of Tucson/Tucson Water has no legal authority to prohibit these right holders from pumping groundwater which they are able to do at a cost that is substantially less than the reclaimed water rate.