300 gallon IBC tote filling in the back of a work truck.

This question has plagued me for a months and something I always wondered. Why is there a 300 gallon limit at a Free Recycled Water Fill Station?

Is it because most IBC totes are 275-300 gallons? Not quite.

Is it because its written in Title 22 of the Recycled Water regulation? Good luck reading 86 pages, you won’t find it there.

Is it because any volume more and you should get a water meter for the truck hydrant fill program? Nope!

Its because “its strictly safety oriented” says Sue Stephenson of Dublin San Ramon Services District. “Most people don’t understand that water is heavy.” Each gallon of water weighs 8.34 lbs. When a 300 gallon tote is full, it weighs 2,502 pounds.

If anyone has a truck that supports 2500 pounds, then they may have some idea on how to drive so that safety is their top priority. Plus, you need to be mindful that water sloshes, where as dead weight like sand does not. I’ve seen many people try to accelerate and stop with 300 gallons of water and honestly, its both exciting and scary for all drivers involved.

Just be careful on the road, water in a tank or bag will move in the opposite direction you do and if proper precautions aren’t taken, it could be disastrous to you or those around you.

Many recycled water fill stations have mimicked their fill stations off of DSRSD’s model because that is what they did and they received regulatory approval. To make things easy, that’s what everyone else is doing.

So while the answer isn’t “sexy”, its the truth.

If the limit was raised, what would you want it raised to?

Would two 300 gallon totes on a trailer be of interest, at a weight of 5200+ pounds? Discuss in the comments and I’ll forward the information to the decision makers. šŸ™‚