Courtney Rubin, the recycled-water specialist for Redwood City, is the go-to person for business and residential customers of the rapidly expanding system. The city recently completed the first phase of the $72 million system, which pumps the recycled sewage water to 47 customers.
Are there other potential customers waiting to sign up? Right now, we have several industrial customers that are looking to use the water for nondrinking water uses, so we’re working with them in order to help them prepare for retrofitting their site.
Why are companies interested? I believe a big driving force is reduced cost. For irrigation customers, they can get recycled water at a 25 percent discount. For our industrial customers, it’s a 40 percent discount off their bill, so they do save a lot of money. But, another driving force is the environmental movement. They recognize this water is drought-proof, and it’s just a really good way to save our drinking water.
How can new customers sign up for recycled water? One of the first things is just to contact the Public Works Department. We will work with you to figure out if recycled water is available in your area. We’ll help you through your application process and help you work through your engineering to get your plans in.