Reuse Water System
Reuse water is wastewater treated to a high standard. The water is re-used instead of discharged into a waterway. It is sometimes called reclaimed or non-potable water. Public Utilities and the NC Division of Water Resources monitors and regulates reuse water.
Reuse water is not suitable for human, pet or livestock consumption. Still, there are many reasons to use reuse water in our area.
- Severe droughts can limit potable water resources. Using reuse water reduces the amount of water needed from these supplies.
- It reduces the nitrogen discharged in streams and rivers from wastewater treatment plants.
- Using it for irrigation provides a nutrient benefit to lawns and crops. This prevents these nutrients from entering waterways, which can contribute to algal blooms.
- A reduction in peak consumption associated with irrigation. The use of reuse water for irrigation is not currently subject to water restrictions.
Public Utilities has two bulk reuse water stations. Citizens and customers can pick up reuse water for personal or commercial use. One bulk station is at the Neuse River Resource Recovery Facility (NRRRF) in southeast Raleigh. The other is at the Little Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant (LCWWTP) in Zebulon. Bulk reuse water uses include:
- pesticide and herbicide application
- concrete production
- power/pressure washing and
- dust control.
Bulk reuse water from the City is free of charge. Each customer must complete certification training before picking up or using reuse water. The Public Utilities Department provides this training.
Contact Emily Fentress at 919-996-3680 for program information or to schedule certification training.
Status of Bulk Reuse Facilities:
- Little Creek WWTP - Open
- Neuse River Resource Recovery Facility- Open
The Phase 2 Reuse Master Plan was approved in December 2017. This plan evaluates the current reuse system and defines alternatives for expansion. It assesses the required infrastructure and cost for implementing specific water reuse projects. It compares the costs and benefits of selected alternatives for reuse program expansion. Expansion would serve either non-potable or potable uses.
Public Utilities currently manages two reuse water distribution systems. One is in the Zebulon service area and serves six customers. It has an annual distribution of approximately 39 million gallons. This distribution system begins at the LCWWTP. It terminates at GlaxoSmithKline in Zebulon.
The southeast Raleigh reuse water distribution system runs from the NRRRF to the NCSU Centennial Campus. 10 miles of this distribution system are on-site at the NRRRF. It irrigates crops grown at the facility. Using reclaimed water for irrigation defers nitrogen from going into the Neuse River. The nutrients contained in the reclaimed water increase crop yields. Plans to expand the on-site irrigation system have begun. This expansion allows nitrogen deferment and higher crop yields across the site.
Both distribution systems combine for a total of 36 miles of reuse distribution main. 10 miles are at the NRRRF. 26 miles are in the reuse distribution system. Both use reuse water for irrigation, cooling towers, industrial processes, concrete production and toilet flushing.