On Tuesday, December 6th 2016, Dublin San Ramon Services District (DSRSD) awarded a contract to upgrade their recycled water facility to produce more recycled water. This project will increase plant production by 70%, leading to an increase from 9.7 MGD (million gallons a day) to 16.2 MGD. Work is scheduled to begin in January 2017 and last 18 months until the fall of 2018.
During this time, the residential recycled water fill station will become a hard hat construction zone. For the safety of residential recycled water haulers, the fill station will be closed during the extent of the project. The last day the fill station was open was on December 28th, 2016.
“We cannot put the public at risk in a hard-hat construction zone or cause a traffic jam on Johnson Drive when roads are closed inside the treatment plant,” said Richard Halket, incoming board president.
DSRSD created the Residential Recycled Water Fill Station program in June 2014 to help their customers save potable water supplies as California was facing extreme drought conditions due to a lack of rain the previous 4 years. The fill station program proved to be wildly successful as more than 3,900 registered users took home 44.6 million gallons.
On DSRSD’s Facebook page, residents were rabidly interested in whether the Dublin Security Complex Fill Station would re-open. “The Dublin fill station on Clark Avenue is permanently closed because that location is no longer available to us,” wrote Stefanie Olson, DSRSD’s Clean Water Program Specialist in an email to RecycledH2O.net.
“If irrigation restrictions are re-imposed for the summer of 2017, in February or March the Board will revisit options for offering recycled water to residents,” wrote Olson. “In the spring of 2018, when construction at the treatment plant is likely to be winding down, the Board will consider long-term plans for a residential fill station.”
Numerous other Water Resource Recovery Facilities followed DSRSD’s lead and opened their own fill station to provide free recycled water to their customers. Statewide, more than 25 fill stations opened with over 10,000 registered recycled water haulers taking home over 125 million gallons of water in the 2 years since the program started. Hauling recycled water by vehicle accounts for less than 2% of the entire recycled water volume distributed by these agencies.
Now as DSRSD’s fill station closes, area agencies should make their fill stations accessible for DSRSD’s customers. This would create an excellent public relations opportunity for these recycled water providers especially since they benefited from DSRSD’s initial example. The City of Livermore and Central Contra Costa Sanitary District (Central San) in Martinez could provide this service if their recycled water supplies are available and their permit to operate allowed for distributing outside district boundaries.
In the meantime, residential recycled water haulers should hook up their recycled water tanks to their roofs’ gutters and downspouts, saving the rain water for sunny days. A single rain storm could provide more than enough water and no driving is required. Win-win!