Consider what happens to the water we use inside the home. Once down the drain... ;
...the water is piped to the local wastewater treatment plant where it undergoes treatment to meet state standards for disposal or reclaimed and stored for reuse;
Urban uses such as landscape irrigation, car washing, dust control and aesthetic purposes (i.e. decorative lakes, ponds and fountains);
Industrial uses including plant wash down, processing water and cooling water purposes;
Agricultural uses such as irrigation of edible food crops such as, citrus, corn and soybeans; other crops such as, pasture lands, grasslands and other feed and fodder crops; and irrigation at nurseries;
Recharging ground water with the use of rapid infiltration basins (percolation ponds), absorption fields and aquifer recharge techniques;
Irrigation of golf courses, parks, residential properties, highway medians and other landscaped areas.
During its 2014 session, the Florida Legislature passed SB 536 requiring the Florida Department of Environmental Protection to "conduct a comprehensive study and submit a report on the expansion of use of reclaimed water, stormwater, and excess surface water in this state" by December 2015. The state's five water management districts are working with DEP on the study.
Water reuse plays an important role in water resource, wastewater and ecosystem management in Florida. When reclaimed water is used, it eases the demand on traditional, often limited, sources of water. By recycling or reusing water, communities can still grow while minimizing or even reducing their impact on the water resources around them.
Water reuse involves using highly treated domestic wastewater for a new purpose. Reclaimed water systems are continually monitored to ensure the health and welfare of the public and the environment are protected.
Using reclaimed water also reduces discharges to surface waters, recharges ground water and postpones costly capital investments in the development of new, more costly water sources and supplies.
Reclaimed water is an excellent water source for:
Irrigating golf courses, residences, highway and street medians and other landscaped areas
Meeting urban demands for water to wash cars, flush toilets and maintain ponds and fountains
Meeting industrial and commercial demands for water at power plants and for various processing and/or washing needs
Irrigating food crops, such as citrus and soybeans, and irrigating crops and pastures for livestock
Creating wetlands and enhancing restoration
Map: Water Reuse Facilities in South Florida
Florida leads the nation in water reuse, with 727 million gallons of reclaimed water reused per day. Within the South Florida Water Management District's 16-county region alone, 110 water reuse systems produce and reuse 278 million gallons of reclaimed water per day.
On the map below, zoom in or type a location in the search bar to see water reuse infrastructure operating throughout South Florida. You can click on a facility, pipeline or reclaimed water user to get more information.