In the midst of a historic drought where residents are limited to landscape watering two days a week, Burbank is offering free recycled water pick-up to residents through the end of October.
Until now, Burbank’s recycled water was only available to large commercial customers.
“A lot of our residential customers asked if some of that recycled water could be made available to them,” Burbank Water and Power's Joe Flores told KPCC. "But to actually build pipes in the city to make the water available for them at home would be hugely and immensely expensive.”
Starting Sept. 5., residents can pick up recycled water at Burbank’s Starlight Bowl parking lot on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to noon using their own sealed containers. The only requirement is that residents must read and sign an agreement on how to properly use the water. Some conditions include not using the water for drinking, washing hands or any other body parts and not allowing the recycled water to pool.
You can see the full agreement here.
Burbank is mandated by the state to conserve 24 percent more water compared to what they used in 2013, which comes out to about 1 billion gallons, said Flores.
The city saved 496 million gallons from June through August, exceeding their percentage goal so far.
“So our community has really responded and is doing well and they all know that 85 percent of us reaching this goal has to come from landscape watering," said Flores. "The two days a week watering is critical in order for us to reach the billion gallon challenge.”
Recycled water can be used for watering grass, trees and other outdoor plants, including those that are edible.
“It’s important that containers being used using to transport and pour [are] not then re-used for any kind of drinking water purposes,” said Flores. “So these have to be dedicated pieces of equipment.”
A minimum one-gallon container should be used but residents can bring larger jugs, buckets or even rain barrels, minding that water weighs about 8 pounds per gallon.
“What is important for people to realize is water is heavy,” sad Flores. “So you have to think about your vehicle, the barrel, getting it home and how you’re actually going to pour it on your landscape once you get home.”
Residents can pick up a maximum of 300 gallons at a time but more than one trip can be made in a day.
“We don’t know what kind of response we’re going to get,” Flores said. “We’ll see how this goes and see if we can offer this at more days, more times, more stations throughout the city.”
Residents can find out more about the program on Burbank Water and Power's website.