The city of Sunnyvale water recycling program provides a sustainable and drought-resistant supply of water to portions of the City for non-potable uses.
The water comes from the wastewater treated at Sunnyvale's Donald M. Somers Water Pollution Control Plant (WPCP), using tertiary level treatments that include oxidation ponds, nitrification for ammonia removal, filtration and disinfection.
The recycled water meets all State requirements for disinfected tertiary water and is approved for use in all agricultural applications including orchards and food production.
To date, recycled water is used in Sunnyvale only for landscaping purposes in the northern portion of the City. Parks, golf courses, business and industrial parks, and play fields use recycled water purchased at a discounted rate. To serve this variety of customers, the City has constructed a separate distribution network of water lines in the north half of the City solely for the delivery of recycled water.
Water lines that carry recycled water are distinguished by their purple color. There is also a storage tank and the ability to utilize potable water as an emergency back-up source should it be needed.
The major benefits of recycled water are:
- Using recycled water for landscape irrigation conserves our drinking water supplies
- Recycled water provides a sustainable source of water even during drought conditions
- Freshwater discharge is diverted away from the San Francisco Bay estuary
Eventually, recycled water may be available city-wide and to neighboring jurisdictions with a need for a reliable, cost-effective source of water for landscaping and other non-potable purposes. For questions about the recycled water program in Sunnyvale, contact Environmental Services at (408)730-7900.
Feasibility Study for Recycled Water Expansion Report