Brentwood residents recycle treated sewage water for irrigation

BRENTWOOD, Calif. (KTVU) - People in Brentwood must reduce their water consumption by 35 percent, and it can get pretty hot in that Contra Costa County community.

But now the city has established something that should help.

It's a filling station where residents can get recycled water to take home, free of charge.

"We thought if we could give them something back to help maintain the life of their plants, it would be a good method to do so," said Chris Ehlers, Brentwood's Assistant Public Works Director.

Resident Sonia Ogborn said she was concerned about her backyard rose garden. The roses and the drought are at odds. "I don't want my roses to die," she said.

But Ogborn found a solution, at the city's filling station, where residents can fill up their containers with recycled water to use for irrigating lawns and gardens.

The recycled water starts out as sewage.

Then it's treated with chemicals, filtered and comes out ready for residents to use, but only for irrigation.

"It can be a big help. We live in an arid climate, so getting it out to the people could be important," said Ehlers.

Residents must show proof they live in Brentwood, and they are limited to 300 gallons in one load.

That's over a ton of water, but it's really just a drop in the bucket.

The city generates 3.5 million gallons of recycled every day, and since it has to go someplace, it may as well be someone's garden.

Other communities including Livermore and Dublin have recycling stations...And it's likely more will follow.