Recycled & Other Non-Potable Water

  Water haulers
Click here for a list of water haulers
General information about recycled water 
Call Sangita Dutt at 650.838.2901 or email

Groundwater pumped from construction
Click here for frequently asked questions

Note: Typically, groundwater pumping does not
occur from November through March, during the rainy season!

Groundwater pumping sites 
For more information call Mike Nafziger at 650.617.3103

Palo Alto Municipal Golf Course uses recycled Water for irrigation

Water Reuse Opportunities in Palo Alto

Recycled water, Stormwater, Graywater and Construction Site Water Reuse
Facing historic draught, increased attention is turning to water reuse opportunities. The information below is provided to help customers in the City of Palo Alto and in the Regional Water Quality Control Plant (RWQCP) service area understand the value of recycled water and other water reuse and capture opportunities.

Recycled Water
Recycled water is high-quality water that has been treated to meet rigorous California Code of Regulations standards. Recycled water is clean, safe and can be used for food crops, including root crops, where water has direct contact with the plant, parks and playgrounds, school yards, residential and commercial landscaping, golf courses and more. Recycled water is generated at the Regional Water Quality Control Plant which is owned and operated by the City of Palo Alto for six partner agencies.

Can I get recycled water from the RWQCP for commercial or residential irrigation?
Yes! There is no charge for the water itself. Permits are required to obtain recycled water for irrigation and other permitted uses on commercial or residential properties. Permittees must meet requirements for obtaining, use and distributing recycled water. Requirements include being located within 10 miles of the Plant (2501 Embarcadero Way, Palo Alto). A short-form, free permit is available for individual residents. Visit the Plant at 2501 Embarcadero Way, Palo Alto 94303, or call 650.329.2598 to get more information.

Stormwater Capture and Use
Stormwater is rain that flows over the ground into creeks and San Francisco Bay. Capturing stormwater can offset the need for potable water used for irrigation. Stormwater capture rebates from the City of Palo Alto help residents and businesses harvest rainwater using cisterns, rain barrels, green roofs and permeable pavement.

What is “graywater” and “laundry-to-landscape”?
Graywater is water captured from washing machines, bathtubs and showers that can be used for irrigation (graywater does not include water from kitchens or toilets).Laundry-to-landscape directly connects washing machine water to a landscaped area for irrigation.

     Check out the City of Palo Alto’s graywater rebates and classes

I see groundwater pumped from construction sites into storm drains. Is this okay?
Yes. During the construction of a basement or underground garage there is sometimes a shallow aquifer that must be temporarily pumped into storm drains to allow construction to move forward. This groundwater is not the same water that would be used for drinking water and it would otherwise still travel to creeks and San Francisco Bay as stormwater if it was not pumped there first. This water is important to the creek and Bay ecosystems.

Since this water can be used for dust control, vehicle washing and tree irrigation, it can be obtained from these sites via water trucks or vehicle mounted tanks. Contact Mike Nafziger at 650.617.3103 with questions about this.

Click here for answers to frequently asked questions!

Last Updated: Dec 29, 2016