Getting Reclaimed Water
Transition to Reclaimed Water
Review the following information about reclaimed water, execute and return the Reclaim Acknowledgement Form (PDF) (current Ocoee water and sewer customers) or Reclaim Utility Customer Service Form (PDF) (current Orange County water and sewer customers) to the Utility Billing and Customer Service counter, and schedule a cross-connection inspection.
You may also mail the form to:
Utility Billing Counter
ATTN: Reclaimed Water Service
P.O. Box 70
Ocoee, FL 34761
Service cannot be turned on at a home until the applicable reclaim form has been received by the Utilities Department, and if necessary, an account has been established with the Utility Counter.
Important Information Regarding Reclaimed Water
Where does reclaimed water come from?
Reclaimed water is recycled water that is highly treated at the City’s Wastewater Treatment Plant. It is as pure as drinking water, but is not intended for human consumption; it is not tested beyond the treatment facility and contains higher levels of certain nutrients. Reclaimed water is well suited for irrigation purposes and can be used for outside or vehicle cleaning.
Is it safe?
Yes. Reclaimed water receives the highest level of treatment and is safe for human contact, but it is not intended for human consumption.
Is reclaim a sustainable & reliable irrigation source?
Due to increasing usage, January 2011 is the last time that the City of Ocoee produced enough reclaimed water to meet its customers’ demands. Knowing that this milestone was approaching, the City was proactive in making arrangements to ensure that sufficient supply would be available for its customers, and has continued to do so. The City entered into bulk purchase agreements with Orange County Utilities and Conserv II, and has completed infrastructure in multiple areas to interconnect its reclaimed system with those of the other entities.
Note: Reclaimed water must go through multiple processes while continuously being tested, ensuring the final output will qualify for public contact standards. If any test fails, reclaim is immediately diverted to storage and reprocessed to ensure water quality. It also takes the wastewater usage of three to five homes to produce enough reclaim to supply one home’s daily irrigation demand. During extreme heat and/or drought conditions, demand for reclaim can sometimes exceed available supply. Occasionally there may be times when reclaim shall be limited and/or unavailable because of treatment issues or high demand. Throughout periods of reclaim shortage, you may be required to limit your use of reclaim and/or supplement your irrigation with potable water using a hose with automatic shutoff hand nozzle and/or hose with portable sprinklers. Please note any supplemental irrigation by potable water shall be required to follow all applicable water conservation measures.
What are the advantages of having it?
- A home utilizing reclaimed water for irrigation should have a higher property value than a similar home without it.
- Reclaimed water usage is not assessed sewer fees.
- Reclaimed water contains beneficial nutrients and can reduce fertilizer needs by up to ⅓.
- Volumetric cost savings and an unrestricted irrigation schedule are limited benefits of reclaim.
What do I need to do to connect my irrigation system to the reclaimed water lines?
When service becomes available to a property, the City will contact the owner and provide information regarding the connection process. Typically, there are two methods for connection:
For current Ocoee utility customers:
1) The first step would be to return the Reclaim Acknowledgement Form to:
City of Ocoee Utilities Department
ATTN: Water Conservation
1800 A D Mims Road
Ocoee, FL 34761
Note: A pre-addressed, stamped envelope will be included in your reclaim introduction packet. You simply need to read the Acknowledgement Form, fill it out and follow its instructions, sign, and mail it back in the included envelope.
2) Upon completion of construction, a meter will be installed for your irrigation as soon as the City has received your Reclaim Acknowledgement Form. The Utilities Department will let you know once reclaim is available to your home.
3) Have a plumber or irrigation specialist (or DIY - here is a how-to diagram) disconnect your irrigation system from the potable meter and connect it to your new reclaimed water meter. Make sure the plumber leaves all in-ground plumbing exposed for cross-connection inspection.
4) Call the Customer Service Counter at 407-905-3191 to schedule your cross-connection inspection. During the business week, most inspections can be completed the same day.
5) Once your connection passes inspection, our Compliance Inspector will leave your irrigation meter turned on and you may begin utilizing reclaimed water for irrigation.
6) If there is an issue, the meter will be locked and information will be provided to the homeowner regarding deficiencies that need to be corrected. You can contact Customer Service for further inspection after corrections have been made.
For current Orange County utility customers:
1) The first step would be to establish a utility account with the City of Ocoee; to do so return the Reclaimed Water Utility Customer
Service Form along with your deposit ($60 for homeowners or $80 for renters) to:
Note: A pre-addressed, stamped envelope will be included in your reclaim introduction packet. You simply need to read the Reclaimed Water Utility Customer Service Form, fill it out and follow its instructions, sign, and mail it back in the included envelope.
2) Upon completion of construction, the City will notify you of the date that the transition from potable to reclaimed water for irrigation will occur.
3) Make sure you have established your account prior to the transition date - your irrigation meter will be locked until your deposit has been paid and a cross-connection inspection can be completed.
4) Once your connection passes inspection, our Compliance Inspector will leave your irrigation meter turned on and you may begin utilizing reclaimed water for irrigation.
5) If there is an issue, the meter will be locked and information will be provided to the homeowner regarding deficiencies that need to be corrected. You can contact Customer Service for further inspection after corrections have been made.
Why is an inspection required?
As reclaimed water is not intended for consumption, an inspection will check for the following:
- A cross connection to ensure that reclaim is not going into your home
- Any prohibited practices such as an above-ground hose bib connected to reclaim
- To ensure that the reclaimed water is connected to the correct meter if more than one meter is present within a meter box
- Any obvious irrigation system issues that you may not see if your irrigation runs during the night or while you're away
What can I do with reclaimed water?
- You can hook up a hose to your irrigation system, but you must install a quick-disconnect to the hose bib, which must be located below grade in a box
- You may use it for washing cars, houses, etc. but it may leave water spots
- You can use it for circulation in an ornamental fountain
- You can use it to irrigate fruits and vegetables (it is recommended that you wash anything where you would consume the peel)
What should I avoid doing with reclaimed water?
- Do not connect any outdoor shower or bathing mechanisms to a hose bib utilizing reclaimed water
- Do not fill your swimming pool, hot tub, or wading pool with reclaimed water
- Do not allow children to play in sprinklers utilizing reclaim
- Do not irrigate within 100' of swimming pools or outdoor public eating, drinking, or bathing facilities, unless utilizing low trajectory nozzles or other means to minimize aerosol formation
- Do not drink reclaimed water
If I have more concerns or questions, how do I have them addressed?
The City of Ocoee Utilities Department would be glad to answer your questions, and if needed, to arrange a time to meet with you at your home to answer your questions and explain your reclaimed water connection. Please call 407-905-3159 for more information.