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Many Cary Residents Using Recycled Water

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CARY, N.C. — The city of Raleigh started handing out illegal watering warnings on Monday, but some businesses in the Triangle do not have to worry about how much water they use because it is recycled. Officials hope using recycled water may become standard practice for many cities in the future.

Cary's watering restrictions are not an issue anymore for homeowner Belinda Tweed. She has a special water outlet in the front yard, connecting her home to a pipe that is exempt from the water restrictions.

"That's really good because some days, you have to think, 'Now is this Tuesday, Thursday or Saturday? Can I water today?' If you forget to water on Tuesday, then you have to wait until Thursday. It's real nice," Tweed said.

During heavy-use periods, Cary's

reclaimed water system

delivers about 10 million gallons per month.

"This was the first of its kind in the state and there are a number of other communities that are putting in systems as we speak," said Cary utilities director Robert Bonne.

Water treated at the sewage plant is pumped to homes and business for non-drinking purposes. With safety in mind, workers at the plant closely monitor the reclaimed water.

"We monitor this on a daily basis to make sure that the disinfection process is working properly and then we go out once a month for compliance, monitoring at the points of use," said reclaimed water coordinator Andrew Russell.

Besides nice, green yards, the water lets customers feel good about protecting a valuable resource.

"I think it's a great idea, especially with the yards with irrigation systems. It used to be a lot of wasted water that just went down the drain," resident Julie Richardson said.

The reclaimed water system, which started in 1995, now feeds about 600 homes and businesses in Cary.


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